By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Denton's Exit 380 is an alternative rock group that, turns out, isn't as schizophrenic as it may first appear. The band's last effort, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Stone, flirted with a vague alt-country notion, and while Exit 380 is certainly capable of a variety of (disparate) styles, the energetic quintet now makes music that fits more comfortably in a Stone Temple Pilots/Alice in Chains groove.
Cities Townies, the band's new EP, is a rock record through and through—and a darn good one at that. Sure, a few cuts feature a nice acoustic riff, but songs like "Street Trash View" and "Caught in a Lie" are much closer to Led Zeppelin than the Old 97's.
Sure, this EP's embrace of straight-ahead rock may well turn off a few fans who favored the country concept of Alexander Stone, but there's no denying the band's comfort level with the material presented on Cities Townies. And vocalist Dustin Blocker's bellicose bellow is best suited to material that makes you want to knock back a couple of cold ones rather than reach for an almanac.
Sometimes the best music doesn't make you work too hard to enjoy it.