Girls, Guns & Glory 'Sweet Nothings' Lonesome Day

Born in Bakersfield, raised on rock 'n' roll, parented by punk the sound of Girls, Guns & Glory is a product of all these influences, conscious and unconscious, which makes them exponents of a very contemporary country infused music. Not the sound of Nashville today but rather a more vital one. Bands like Big Blue Hearts and The Souvenirs, to name but two, have previously played this blend of Holly, Orbison, of Cash and Hank Williams influences with solid songwriting, memorable melodies, strong voice and tangible twang to create something positive and vibrant. The band are led from the front by Ward Hayden on vocals and acoustic guitar, he is also the band's songwriter. He is ably backed up by guitarist Chris Hersch, bassist Paul Dilly and drummer Michael Calabrese. The are joined, on the recording by a number of guests who add keyboards, pedal steel, mandolin and accordion to the sound. Production by Paul Q Kolderie and Adam Taylor allows these songs a sonic excellence which makes for some striking music. The album plays as a cohesive whole that balances the uptempo driving songs like Nighttime alongside a more heartbreaking ballad like Last Night I Dreamed, complete with a spoken verse. Lost, strayed and broken relationships are at the heart of all these songs, as they would be in the majority of classic country songs. The duet with rising star Sarah Borges on 1,000 Times is a balanced male/female interaction that makes it an album highlight. But not a highlight that stand head and shoulders above the rest of the songs here, all of which add up to one fine album and the best that Girls, Guns & Glory has so far delivered. Here is a band that obviously loves music rooted in the 50s and 60s but who have not tried to slavishly replicate that sound but rather make it a living and vital format. Fans of Dwight Yoakam, Chris Isaak and early Mavericks should check this Massachusetts band out. It's likely you'll like it as much as I do.