Ed Anderson leads this Illinois alt-country outfit with the same kind of weary optimism that Brent Best once did with the late, great Slobberbone. Featuring a cleaner sound but an equally drunken aesthetic, Backyard Tire Fire's Bar Room Semantics is the little brother to Slobberbone's Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today: honest takes on middle-class living which may be a bit blurry-eyed but maintain an emotional charge that proves devastating. Anderson's tales of romantic misfires ("When the Truth Was Still True") and cautious praise to inebriation ("The Daze") are direct and intense, as the backing never strays far from the Neil Young/Gram Parsons model that serves as alt-country's Holy Grail.
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