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Freakwater: End Time
Freakwater: End Time
turnover time:2024-06-22 05:25:07

Whether you're a fan of Nashville's superstars or some of country's more left-of-the-dial favorites, it's never been a better time to follow twang. The nation is in the midst of a major country renaissance, where even the most casual fan may enjoy Garth and Shania while at the same time realizing the importance of Hank and Patsy. Yet, ironically enough, Freakwater—led by the Louisville-born pair of Janet Beveridge Bean and Catherine Ann Irwin—has found itself in a bind that's not of its own doing. Freakwater has always stood in stark contrast to the slick stuff on the radio: The group's basic, Appalachia-inspired songs are hardly hoedown pick-me-ups, possessing more in common with The Carter Family and other campfire fare than most rock- and rockabilly-inspired country. But things weren't made much easier by the wave of alt-country that's still sweeping across America, and specifically the Midwest. Freakwater's slow, dark songs still sound out of place amongst the thinly veiled punk bands embellishing themselves with slide guitars, and the group doesn't have much in common with the sons and daughters of country-rock grandpa Gram Parsons, either. At least, it didn't before. Freakwater's fifth album, End Time, features fewer strictly traditional songs, even going so far as to bring in a drummer to—gasp!—add a backbeat. "Good For Nothing," "Cloak Of Frogs," "When The Leaves Begin To Fall," and "Raised Skin" still aren't anywhere near perky enough to promote sweet dreams, but "Cheap Watch" and "Dog Gone Wrong" add enough zip to convert some of those not already seduced by Bean and Irwin's spooky, sleepy, sweet-and-sour harmonizing.

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