Friday, January 6, 2017

Uncle Tupelo - Still Feel Gone

Uncle Tupelo was one of the original 'alt-country' bands, formed in the late eighties at a time when country music was neither 'alternative' nor cool.  Including both Jay Farrar (of Son Volt) and Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco), their hard rocking second album Still Feel Gone came out in 1991.  Listening to it now, it holds up pretty well, opening up with Gun which definitely leans more on the rock than country.  Looking For a Way Out is a slice of a kind of countrified Crazy Horse, while Fall Down Easy's mandolin midway through has echoes of REM.  The sparse, country strum Still Be Around is a fine track, complete with lyrics like "with the bible is a bottle".  On the other the pounding, lurching Postcard displays a fine grasp of guitar dynamics, particularly the 'don't give a f**k' solo midway through.  Although the album tapers off a little towards the end, it ends with the downcast If That's Alright, a perfect doing-nothing-staring-out-of-the-window type song.

Certainly if you like your country a bit on the rough and unpolished side this one is essential.