On their ATO Records debut and ninth album overall, The Old 97’s look back on their 20 years in music and deliver an album that is ‘a way-off Broadway musical about a musician’s life, love and lubrication’. It’s an album about people who shouldn’t be singing about failed relationships anymore because they themselves are happily married. It’s an album that comes with songs that are self-referential while having lines like ‘I’m not crazy about songs that get self-referential’.
While the lyrics show that these guys have been growing up, nothing much has changed musically. The band’s twangy take on punk is still very much in effect and with a little help from The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson and Neko Case’s Jon Rauhouse, they bang out another batch of whiskey-drenched, weed-flavored tunes that will transport you to a dimly lit bar where you’re trying to drink your sorrows away. Meanwhile you’re listening to a band take on appropriately titled songs like “Give It Time”, “Wheels Off” and “Most Messed Up”. It’s The Old 97’s at their rowdiest and you’re gonna love it.