Deportees : Damaged Goods

<img src="https://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/deportees.jpg" alt=" " />"Alt-country" is a term commonly used to describe music that's more like "Southern rock" - and is rarely as country as it is alternative.  Country...
6.7 Virgin
2006 

 "Alt-country" is a term commonly used to describe music that's more like "Southern rock" – and is rarely as country as it is alternative.  Country roots are relatively rare in the modern indie scene, which is why Deportees' new album, Damaged Goods, is a tribute to the term, and is actually a legit 50/50 mix of alt and country.  
Covering their bases between honky tonk, pickin' & grinnin', and slow ballads, Deportees mix classic country elements with more thriving rock rhythms, and in the process, create a surprisingly elaborate crossover sound.  These Swedes organize the best parts of "country" with the best parts of "alt", and do it better than a lot of Americans could. 

"People Like Us", the opening track, is a quick honky jam, remniscient of the Grateful Dead's "Touch of Grey".  A snappy falsetto and background vocals really groove the song into infectious territory.  Deportees are two brothers and two others, and Peder Stenberg's vocals are a major component, propelling the music with a soulful engine.  In the title track, there's a Seger-esque strain in his voice that commands urgency from the churning guitar and flowing chorale behind him.  "Who Is Gonna Meet Me", is a well-orchestrated, dark swell of countrified melancholy that's rare even in Nashville.

There's an impressive variety of ups and downs on Damaged Goods.  "Missing You, Missing Me" is uptempo and chugs like a train flying through the plains. "Line of Fire" has a lonely campfire feel, with acoustic plucking and distanced drums.  The background vocals around the album bestow vivid extra dimensions of depth and soul and are a big part of why this record stands out.  

It's like Deportees took modern instruments and sentiments into the old West and created a sound that's way behind its time and ahead of it too.   Sort of strange that a Swedish band can reproduce an all-American sound as well as anyone, but it's more of a testament to how thoroughly fascinating this album is.  As "alt" in Swedish means "all" in English, this album is pure and real, all-country.

Categories
Album Reviews
No Comment

Leave a Reply