Lambchop, What Another Man Spills (Merge)

Posted December 31st, 1998 by admin

What Another Man Spills
By: Eric G.

Nashville, Tennessee's Lambchop looks like a two-dollar jug band live, but the sounds come together with a plaintive, nuanced cohesiveness that quickly snuffs out any thoughts that this is some thrown together party band. Lambchop has carefully avoided being dumped into the "no depression" movement by stretching the limits of its country roots. Now a fourteen-piece (one up from last year's Thriller album), Lambchop's insular music swells beneath Kurt Wagner's brittle baritone with strings, horns, steel guitars, organs, and almost any noisemaker you could find in a junkyard.

What Another Man Spills is the band's fifth album for Merge and its most accomplished to date. Lambchop expands upon the groundwork laid by everyone from Chet Atkins to Roy Orbison. The music centers around the simple strum of Wagner's vintage 1920's Gibson guitar. His voice seems intrusive at first because it's so severe compared to the delicacy of the music, but its charm lies in its disparate delivery. His voice is truly put to the test on the glorious cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Give Me Your Love", in which he mimics Mayfield's pristine falsetto, and pretty much gets away with it. It's that kind of fearless experimentation that separates Lambchop from the droves of supposed "country-tinged" bands that seem to be cropping up everywhere.

Tags: review