Saturday, October 17, 2015

Men of Extinction's "We Made It Ourselves"

You never know what Jim Colegrove's going to get up to next. Last time out, the once and future Juke Jumpers/Lost Country honcho was revisiting his roots with an instrumental rockaroll album. On this latest outing (which, like its predecessor, is Amazon-available), he's teamed with fellow singer-songwriter-guitarist Roscoe West, familiar of Kinky Friedman and T-Bone Burnett, who, in a previous life (as Bob Barnes), played bass in the Elite, Paschal High School's answer to the Beatles, and later, in the Yellow Payges, an L.A.-based Yardbirds-Who derivation that we even heard of as far away as Lawn Guyland. Together, the two men have come up with nothing less than a 21st century Meercun version of the Kinks' masterpiece, The Village Green Preservation Society -- albeit from the perspective of a couple of geezers who actually possess the world-weariness that 20something Ray Davies only affected.

Lyrically, Colegrove and West survey the absurdities of life here in the Future with a mixture of bemusement and droll wit. "Evolution's Not Fast Enough For Me" contemplates imminent ecological disaster in a manner reminiscent of Billy Sherrill-era George Jones, replete with weeping steel guitar and fiddle. "I Used To Think It Mattered," an Eddie Cochran-esque rocker, catalogs the mundane litany of petty concerns from our info-overloaded age. "Jane's Name Is Jane" examines gender reassignment, while "Lap Band Dance" ("...played by the Lap Dance Band") has some fun with physical fitness fads. "Sorry, I Thought You Were Someone I Knew" presents a classic dilemma in bouncy Western swing style, and "Trapped In Amber" is another country weeper, on the subject of stasis. "Bible On Her Lap" is a tongue-in-cheek character study worthy of Chuck Berry.

An auspicious pairing, and another welcome communique from the man whose band I saw more than any other my first couple of years in Fort Worth. If you love American song and periodically consider closing your Facebook account because you find the uncivility of the discourse upsetting, We Made It Ourselves could be right up your alley.


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