The Parson Red Heads - Yearling
Yearling" is a record that has gotten a huge buzz, as have its creators. The Parson Red Heads are the latest great alt-country hope, and here is more than enough evidence here to justify the hype. This is sharp, literate, fun country rock, and the Red Heads are a band that ought to get even better, especially when they move beyond tribute and add more of their own ideas to those of their obvious heroes.
Given their name, it wouldn't make sense to not have a song like "Burning Up The Sky" to open things up; its Gram Parson-esque trappings are unmistakable. Likewise, "Hazy Dream" and "Seven Years Ago" are solid, but could easily be confused with outtakes from the Byrd's "Sweetheart of the Rodeo," or songs by a cover band devoted to that record.
With ‘When You Love Somebody," however, the band truly steps out on its own, with its influences buried beneath a taut, droning melody. "Time Is Running Out" is another an effective mix of country and classic rock, with a slow, building to epic groove, and great lyrics ("all the time we spend giving up could be spent on the things that we have").
Also a good sign is "Kids mHanging Out loud", a fat rocker that blows open the doors, and the closer, "Banking On The Sun," a brilliant passionate mid-tempo rocker, the kind of grand finale you may have expected in the past during the classic rock era.
Produced in part by the db's Chris Stamey, "Yearling" wavers between solid, confident and literate country rock and tepid copies of their influences. Most of the eleven songs fall on the former side, so this is worth repeated listens and for hoping for future maturity. Overlook the hype, but not the record. Despite the hero-worship, something big might be brewing.
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