Just a few minutes ago, the Old 97's posted to their web site a whole slew of free downloads--not of new songs, mind you, but of old ones. Or, more accurately, of the demos for old songs, all of which Rhett Miller and Murry Hammond recorded as the band geared up for the release of its 1997 opus, Too Far to Care.
You can grab them right here--and we recommend you do, if only to hear how different these songs sounded before the band went into the studio to flush them out. The differences are noticeable especially on "Timebomb" and "Barrier Reef," two of the band's biggest rave-ups, which sound noticeably calmer in these acoustic forms, before guitarist Ken Bethea's had the chance to flex his surf guitar work all over them and prior to drummer Philip Peeples adding a little bit more speed and power to the mix.
If nothing else, these tracks provide a nice insight into a band at its peak--a peak the band may have finally just returned to.
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Anyway, if you need more convincing, go ahead and stream the "Timebomb" and "Barrier Reef" demos after the jump before grabbing them on the 97's' page.
Bonus mp3: Old 97's -- "Timebomb (Demo)"