El Pollo Diablo
630 East Broadway
Welcome to Missoula, EPD. The young punk band that formerly plowed its way through the more gentrified and less embracing Whitefish area has relocated to the Garden City, leaving high school, but not its sense of humor and angst, behind.
630 East Broadway is the band’s follow-up EP to its debut album, Fresh out of the Oven, and the new effort offers six raw, rapidly delivered, power-punk ballads in the mold of The Clash and NOFX. The opening track, “I Wanna Be Emo,” jumps right to the heart of EPD’s rollicking, semi-serious style with lead singer Roger Fingar singing: “My personality is how I dress/I’ll wear black clothes so I look depressed/But there’s one thing that I’m starting to fear/What will be the hot trend next year?” With bassist Nick Ferrington, guitarist Ian Duncan and drummer Kelly McDowell adding a silly backing chorus of “Scooby Doo” between each line and the production boosted by a dirty little horn riff, “I Wanna Be Emo” sounds like a new crowd favorite. Other standouts include the darker, creatively titled “Daryl Strawberry” (sample lyric: “How did it get to a point like this?/Does it even matter any more?”), and a spirited cover of GG Allin’s “Bite It You Scum.”
630 East Broadway is less than 19 minutes long, but it’s another full and promising effort from these newly local boys. (Skylar Browning)
El Pollo Diablo plays the Elk’s Lodge Friday, Feb. 24, at 7 PM. Sledgeback headlines with Hating Hillary and 10MT40s also on the bill. $5.
When I Was Made
Don’t turn your back and walk into another room while Edie Carey’s album is playing. Not only will you miss out on hearing the singer’s elegant soul-exposing lyrics, but she may even get back at you by penning a song about how you never listen. And you wouldn’t be the first character whose attention she can’t live without.
Many of the tracks on Carey’s fourth album deal with distances between romantic partners. In most cases, Carey’s narrators are unsatisfied with emotional detachment and vie for attention from their aloof lovers: “Maybe if I tried a little harder/you might want me again.”
Despite the loneliness of her lyrics, Carey’s songs clip along cheerfully with the help of accompanying banjo (banjo songs just can’t get too melancholy), organ, drums, electric guitar and Dobro.
When I Was Made is a pleasurable lament simply because Carey pulls it off with such style. You may even find yourself thankful that humans are flawed, just so you can listen to folks like Carey try to make sense of it all. (Caroline Keys)
Edie Carey plays the Crystal Theatre Thursday, March 2, at 8 PM. David Boone opens. $10/$8 in advance or for members of the Missoula Folklore Society.
Your Sons and Daughters
Sugar Hill Records
What made last year’s eponymous breakthrough alt-folk album from The Duhks such a hit was that the disc, combined with the band’s heavy cross-promotion from Sugar Hill Records (which billed the band as “more than” just folk) and high-voltage live performances (they’ve held their own on punk bills), found a wide-ranging audience that transcended the traditional genre. But as the band continues to ride the success of that release and enters the studio to record its follow-up (due out later this year), Sugar Hill has delved into the band’s history, re-releasing its first, purely folk CD, Your Sons and Daughters, which was previously available only online or at the band’s shows.
Recorded just four months after The Duhks formed in 2002, Your Sons and Daughters is heavy on the trad folk with four instrumentals, much more emphasis on Tania Elizabeth’s fiddle and Leonard Podolak’s banjo, and less showcasing of the kick-ass soulful delivery of tattoo-clad lead singer Jessee Havey. It’s The Duhks unplugged on the front porch, embracing their Winnipeg Folk Festival roots, and considering the individual talents of each member of the band, that’s just fine. Highlights include the sweetly tragic “Annabel” and the rumbling cover of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings’ “Rock of Ages.”
Fans who discovered The Duhks last year may not immediately take to the earlier material, but it’s an insightful look at the roots of a band that’s since outsized its category. (Skylar Browning)
The Duhks return to Missoula for a show at The Other Side Friday, March 3, at 9 PM. $12.
Ben Winship and Brian Wicklund with Eric Thorin
Snake River Records
Big Twang is what happens when seriously talented bluegrass musicians get together just for fun. This all-star group, consisting of Ben Winship (mandolin player for Kane’s River), Brian Wicklund (currently fiddling at select Chris Stuart & Backcountry shows), and Eric Thorin (bass player for the now defunct Colorado-based Open Road) leave their bluegrass hats hanging on a nail outside for this effort. Fun is at the forefront as these fellas get their hands dirty playing music from genres far away from the testosterone-driven sound they create in their regular bands.
The explorations begin with a Winship original called “Tangled Roots.” By the end of the album, there’s no doubt in the listener’s mind that Winship’s background (and his crew’s) is indeed as tangled as the community roots of which he sings. Appalachian fiddle tunes, as well as numbers from sources as diverse as Jimmie Rodgers, Leadbelly, Norman Blake and Irving Berlin appear on the record. Bluegrass-ified cover tunes these are not, but rather a collection of disparate songs that come across as completely compatible in the capable hands of Winship, Wicklund and Thorin. (Caroline Keys)