Monday, August 13, 2012

Corb Lund: "Cabin Fever" (album review)

With a mix of twang, enthusiasm, and humour, Corb Lund has made himself a favorite with the country set and indie music fans alike.  His latest studio album, Cabin Fever, comes out this week.  It won't disappoint.

Lund touches on many of the roots-related styles this time out.  We get rockabilly ("The Gothest Girl I Can"), swaying Western ("Cows Around"), and full on gritty country blues ("Gettin' Down On the Mountain").

These songs really do run the gamut.  We get the danceable "Mein Deutsches Motorrad" followed shortly by the twangy lament "(You Ain't A Cowboy) If You Ain't Been Bucked Off".

That brings us to the humour, which always features prominently in Lund's lyrics.  You don't need to hear much of "Drink Like You Mean It" or "Priceless Antique Pistol Shoots Startled Owner", which also features Lund's trademark yodel, before you break a smile.  Of course, there's a satirical edge to much of Lund's humour.  He pokes fun at things he feels absurd by making them even more absurd.

Really one of the few letdowns is "September".  It's an easy-going midnight ride that's a little slow and rather uninteresting by Lund's standards.  The same can be said for the sombre "One Left In the Chamber".

The album standout is "Dig Gravedigger Dig".  The song achieves the incredibly rare musical Grand Slam, forcing the listening to stomp, clap, head bop, and sing along.  It's a rare feat, but one that Lund has accomplished on more than one occasion over his career.

Best tracks: "Dig Gravedigger Dig", "Mein Deutsches Motorrad"

Track listing for Cabin Fever:
  • Gettin' Down On the Mountain
  • Dig Gravedigger Dig
  • Bible On the Dash
  • September
  • Mein Deutsches Motorrad
  • Cows Around
  • (You Ain't A Cowboy) If You Ain't Been Bucked Off
  • Drink Like You Mean It
  • Priceless Antique Pistol Shoots Startled Owner
  • The Gothest Girl I Can
  • One Left In the Chamber
  • Pour 'Em Kinda Strong

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