The Highballers 'Soft Music and Hard Liquor'- Woodshed

The title here might easily be reversed here to "hard music and soft liquor". The Highballers have a sound that throws back to the times when the term cow punk was more widely used to describe a hybrid of rock and country played with energy and drive. The band have evolved from their beginning in 2007. Chief song writer and vocalist Kendall Jackson has led the band since then and has a voice honed in honky-tonks and bars to a level of believability and bash. A key factor here is the harmony and unison singing of Victoria Patchen who does a fine job of adding depth to the vocals. Add to that the Telecaster twang attack of guitarist Sean Lally and the robust rhythm bed of Michael Barrientos and Drake Sorey. All show a love for country music as well as for elements of punk, garage rock, rockabilly and other influences which they have blended into something that feels right for them and with enough twang to make it appeal to country music fans the world over. It's not the 50/60s retro fitted sound that some bands use. Rather it's a template that's been tried and tested right back to the early eighties and with numerous bands who took their lead from Rank 'n' File and Jason and The Scorchers, but one that is still valid. The songs equally fit the bill with titles like Doing Time In Pennsylvania, The Price You Pay, I Didn't Mean To Get Drunk or Close To The Line. These are songs that are not without some humour and honesty. All in all The Highballers are an all round package. Though a lot of the album is taken at an uptempo pace they can do slower songs like Virginia and Better Man with ease and without going too soft. The album closes in the spirit (pun intended) of the album title with I Take Pride In My Drinkin'. An unashamed ode to a vocation that seems central to the Highballers sound and vision.