A little over a year ago in this space we reviewed You May Already Be A Winner by Brooklyn twangers Katy Mae, praising the band’s
collective sound which bore echoes of everyone from Tom Petty and the
Replacements to the Drive-By Truckers and Uncle Tupelo. En route to their next
album, however, Katy Mae underwent a small lineup shuffle and ultimately
decided to re-emerge with a new moniker.
Certainly “The High Irons” has a more evocative ring to it,
although longtime Katy Mae fans need not worry that there’s been an
accompanying drastic sonic overhaul. With the songwriting/production team of
Philip Doucet and Hans Gutknecht still at the fore, the quartet effortlessly
essays deep-roots Americana
alongside blazing powerpop and vintage seventies-styled singer-songwriterdom.
Key tracks, radio-ready all, include the moody, yearning “Lovesick Hearts,”
with its flecks of twang and Johnny Cash-style boxcar rhythm; the insistent,
Latin-flavored “Country Hardball”; the anthemic, raveup-worthy “Message” (as
in, “I hope this message haunts you” – gotta love those kiss-off numbers!); and
the harmony vocal-strewn, jangly country-rocker “Stranded On the Subway,” which
really needs to be sent down to
Nashville to make the rounds ‘cos it’s ripe for some superstar to pick it up
and put it at the top of the charts.
What’s in a name? In this case, The High Irons ring out loud
‘n’ proud, and we’re pretty sure that you’re going to be hearing a lot more
from the band in the very near future.
DOWNLOAD: “Lovesick Hearts,” “Message,” “Stranded on the Subway” FRED MILLS