The Upshot: Knowing full well that American radio doesn’t have a clue about American rock’n’roll, Dan Baird continues to unapologetically carry the flag out of necessity, if not spite. Check out a pair of videos following the text.
BY BILL HOLMES
After an almost seven-year wait for their last studio album (2014’s Circus Life), Homemade Sin somehow found time amid relentless touring (including onboarding new bass player Micke Nilsson) to deliver a solid follow-up a year later.
Keith Richards might have the unofficial patent for the phrase “guitar weaving”, but the interplay of Dan Baird and Warner Hodges takes a backseat to no one. Both capable lead shredders, it’s their subtlety and nuance that adds depth to the tracks despite the ironic album title. Likewise, drummer Mauro Magellan – Keith Moon incarnate when playing live – echoes the solid but tasteful restraint of a Charlie Watts. One could suggest that the studio releases fail to capture the band’s forceful stage presence, but I would counter that these are stage vets whose DNA feeds off a live audience; you’ll never capture that in a studio no matter how good you are.
Baird wrote or co-wrote all eleven tracks, the usual smorgasbord of primal rock, roots, Americana and country blues; tales of waffle huts and broken hearts, common folk and hopes and dreams. Recording most of the album remotely via file sharing might have dragged Baird into this century a few years later than most, but the results unfailingly boast the Homemade Sin imprint.
“Silver Little Lies” is an example of Baird’s sweet spot; a mid-tempo bluesy tale that hypnotically weaves twin guitars and sneaky background vocals atop a pulsating rhythm – it overwhelms (in a good way) because there’s so much going on that you have to surrender to it rather than try to find focus. Given that Homemade Sin is such an enthusiastically dynamic live band, I foresee this track as a concert staple – a peppered jab that will set up a faster song’s right cross. Already flush with a career’s worth of set list chestnuts, they can add “Movin’ Right Along” and the title track to that list of tempo tantrums.
Get Loud doesn’t have that killer single track that will fire off a flare to the uninitiated, but it’s a solid effort that grows roots with repeated listening. The core audience will eat this up with glee, while those not yet converted will hopefully be within earshot to avoid missing out on another keeper.
DOWNLOAD: “Thin Disguise,” “Fairground People,” “Silver Little Lies”
“Fairground People” live video:
“Don’t Be Wastin’ My Time” studio video: