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Earthquake Country

Fort Worth's Earthquake Country sounds, based on name alone, like a lame cover band looking to regale muffin-topped boot-scooters with the latest America Has Idol Talent disco-and-Western blend.

Thankfully, Diaspora, the first record from Jason Worley and his backing band, which includes members of Telegraph Canyon, isn't anywhere near such idiocy. The sparse and raw sheen of their old-timey Americana has an unpretentious demo-like feel in its intimacy. The band's ability to urgently convey timelessness while avoiding sounding old is a trick that's too often mishandled in this retro-crazy age of string-band hipsters.

To be clear: Suggesting that the album possesses the feel of a demo recording isn't the same as calling it out as unprofessional. There's a warmth here, especially in "Save The Smiles," that practically allows the listener to be involved in the vulnerability that goes into the creative process, even if it is after the fact.


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