Album Reviews

Waylon Speed – Kin (Crow On Ten Music Group)

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Waylon Speed KinThe name alone invariably brings to mind the iconic country outlaw, Waylon Jennings.  So, what is their sound like? It’s an amalgam of country rock, punk, metal, and crunching Southern rock straight from, all of places, Vermont. And, while the band may have a Jennings kind of attitude rather than sound, its name is not from Jennings but from guitarist Reverend Hammaker’s son.  As the title indicates, this is a family affair that features a rhythm section of brothers Noah and Justin Crowther on bass and drums. The quartet features a powerful twin guitar barrage, a sound that’s been refined as the band progresses from a popular regional act into national focus.

At the helm is producer Mark Spencer of Son Volt, and frequent touring partner of Laura Cantrell. Spencer tastefully sprinkles in his pedal steel and piano, as a cook would carefully season a meaty dish. Alongside is Grammy-winning sound engineer Brian Thorn, who also adds sparkling New York City studio touches to a rough-hewed live sound.  Fear not; they still managed to keep the band’s ferocious power intact. Principal songwriters Noah Crowther and guitarist Kelly Ravin offer tales of life on the road, desperate lovers, and the kind of rave-ups that make them such an appealing live act.  Two standouts are “Days Remain the Same” which has a catchy melodic hook and the chord laden, slightly feedback tinged closer, “Demons”.  By all means, pop this into your car’s CD player.  Just beware of the blinking lights behind you.

– Jim Hynes

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