Thursday, December 11, 2008

Miss Lana Rebel | All I Need LP

Miss Lana Rebel, of Wantage USA's fabulous math-metal-punk instrumental group Last of the Juanitas, steps into the realm of country ballads and runs about as far from her distortion filled roots to the other end of the musical spectrum as an artist can go. But maybe this isn't as removed from her previous endeavors as we might think, as real music is real music no matter what form it may take.

Punkers embracing country is nothing new, just look at the Mekons, who did it very well, and there's no doubt that the true and original country musicians were rebels for sure. While The Last of the Juanitas were no Mekons, and Lana is no Tammy Wynette, All I Need is filled with enough country balladry and two-steppin' hooks to interest the most hardened of punk rockers who might be looking for a change of pace (even if just for the novelty) because somewhere right under the surface of things some common sensibilities stream through the chords whether they be distorted and picked or acoustic and strummed.

While Lana has everything country down pat here, there's one essential element missing from this record, and that's grit; the kind of grit that comes from being in bar brawls and living in trailer homes, the kind of grit that comes from working at the Wrangler plant and driving a beat-up truck, and being proud of it. Now I'm sure she's experienced plenty of livin', but it's just ain't the right kind. The real country music, as far as I can tell, is also a way of life that's been lost to time. And while that element of "being there" may not be completely present, this record is still darn good in it's own right, and I give Lana kudos for keeping real country music alive and making her own statement against the CMT bullshit that inundates the airwaves and makes for cheap entertainment for people who spend too much time at Wal Mart.

For the love of cheep beer and tight fittin’ jeans step out and do something different.

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