The Upshot: Outstanding roots-rock, alt-country, spaghetti western and blues from one of North Carolina’s most underrated outfits.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
Raleigh’s favorite sons, Jack the Radio, have a pretty solid track record when it comes to delivering solid roots-based alt- country and their latest, Badlands, is no exception. It’s a slow burn album that may take more than one listen to really sink in, but once it does it stays with you.
While not exactly a rock opera in the 1970s “drop some acid, buckle in take in our pretentious record” sense of the term, this latest full length is inspired by sci-fi spaghetti westerns and as a result there is a Theremin tossed in and more blues licks then previous albums, but even if the themes go unnoticed by the casual listener it’s still a satisfying album.
Elizabeth Hopkins duets on “Criminals” and BJ Barham lends his voice to “Wayfared Warriors.” Despite the guests and the themes here, this is still very much a Jack the Radio record from start to finish and that is always a good thing.
DOWNLOAD: “The Takedown,” “Leaves” and “Wayfared Warriors”