The eight members of this country band know all about having a good time and have the tunes to match
Dangerous romances and drunken recriminations dominate the new album by eight-piece troublemakers Country Lips. Swapping vocal duties and solos as if handing out a round of drinks, this is the kind of music you’d love to hear performed at the Station Inn or any old honky-tonk. For their latest offering, the beer-fuelled nostalgia has been ramped up to 11 and is raring for a good time.
The boisterous nature of the album is established from the outset with the uptempo chugger Laundromat. It’s the sound of Johnny Cash or George Jones being backed by the wildest cowboy band imaginable. This thread continues on songs such as the Cajun-influenced Holding Out and the barstool toe-tapper Please Be My Love.
A sense of balance is provided by the record’s slower tracks, late night harmonies collide on Don’t Quit Your Day whilst the fiddle-led ballad Only Here Long Enough To Leave brings some self-imposed loneliness. Closing track, True Cross is a waltz that is wonderfully augmented by Gus Clark’s accordion, proof of the artistry beneath the alcohol.
Happy to embrace the genre’s ramshackle side, Country Lips provide a welcome antidote to the increasingly polished nature of country pop. This is music to drink and dance to and a fine companion with which to welcome in 2017.
Verdict: A party from start to finish