Spitfire Tumbleweeds

Is there a hidden swampland in Denton from which country-loving musicians sprout out of the murky water with banjo already in hand to rock out under the moonlight? Doubtful, but Spitfire Tumbleweeds make a case for such a Weekly World News-worthy scenario with their impressive debut record, King James Version. The Denton collective gathers members of local post-punk and space-rock bands like Record Hop, jetscreamer and Super Love Attack to create a sound entirely unlike their brethren, where electric guitars, mandolins and slide guitars do-si-do around a campfire while tucking Black Sabbath tees underneath their country-cut long-sleeve shirts. The slide-and-mandolin beauty of "Harvest Hymn" and the murky, murderous stomp of "Badlands (Pt. 2)" will give country music haters something fresh and interesting to chew on, and lead singer Scott Porter unleashes a surprisingly strong howl on KJV, though he hides his vocal talent in the mix by singing through what sounds like a CB radio--what gives?--and when guitarist Kody Jackson sings, he sounds like a sadistic cross between a crazy fogey lost in the woods and the lead singer from Crash Test Dummies. Either of those would prove annoying if the musicianship behind the affair wasn't so thick, as the eight-piece whips up rocking guitar solos, squealing theremins and soulful pedal steel sermons that are as fit for a Western movie soundtrack as they are a horror flick. Yee-haw and fuck yeah, guys.

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