Musician (6/97, p.90) - "...cow-punk deja vu...done so well, so maniacally, you never doubt these ferocious li'l varmints for one backwoods minute....Leave the Stetsons at home for this one and start slamming."
Old 97's: Rhett Miller (vocals, guitar); Murry Hammond (vocals, bass); Ken Bethea (guitar); Philip Peeples (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Exene Cervenkova (vocals); John Rauhouse (pedal steel, banjo); Wally Gagel (piano, Mellotron, percussion).
Recorded at Village Productions, Tornillo, Texas.
Personnel: Rhett Miller (vocals, guitar); Murry Hammond (vocals, bass guitar); Ken Bethea (guitar); Jon Rauhouse (banjo); Wally Gagel (piano, Mellotron, percussion); Philip Peeples (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Wally Gagel.
Liner Note Authors: Tom de Savia; Rhett Miller.
Recording information: Dreamland, Woodstock, NY; Village Productions, Tomillo, TX.
Photographer: Chris Gorman.
The Old 97's make their jump to the majors on their second release without sacrificing any of their fire. Though they're lumped with the country-rock revivalists, they owe more to the punk-inflected sound of Mekons offshoot/former labelmates the Waco Brothers than to the Flying Burrito Brothers. Instead of relying on traditional country instrumentation, their sound is based on a foundation of fierce electric guitars and ape-with-a-stick drumming. The ferocity of their attack keeps the country cliches they occasionally revive from sounding hackneyed.
The urgency and restlessness of songs like "Timebomb" and "Niteclub" share a common bond with the gotta-get-outta-here rebel spirit of the Clash's underdog anthems. The band's cowpunk roots show most clearly on "Four Leaf Clover," a duet with X's Exene Cervenka that will take you back to the days when it still seemed like Jason & The Scorchers could change the world.