If you have been following this blog, then I don’t really need to rehash the history of Steve Poltz and the Rugburns ( If you haven’t been following, shame on you and you can go to the bottom of this post and click on the links for the previous posts for them ). The band had signed with Priority Records to make this album. Although the record company name stamped on this disc may have changed, the formula of the Rugburns remained firmly intact. While the album starts off a little slow classic Steve Poltz makes it’s first appearance come track 3 “The Ballad of Tommy and Marla”. In true Burns/Poltz fashion the song is upbeat musically while telling what seems to be a love story about Tommy and his girlfriend Marla. But the tale twists into a dark yarn of drug abuse and paranoia that ends with Marla blowing Tommy’s brains out and going to prison. While on the surface that may not jump out at you as the formula for a great song…but it is just that, a great song. But there is more classic Burns tunes to be found on this disc. Like “Tree Hugger” a wonderfully acoustic ode to the “green life” and “Pile On The Hangover” an awesome ode to overindulgence. Really within these songs lie the true hidden genius of Poltz. He has the ability to write a song like “Pile On The Hangover” that, on it’s surface, is a rollicking fun tribute to drinking to access. But there is undercurrent of self reflection about the narrators intake that is a cause for concern. “Mama” will always stand as one of my personal favorite songs from this band. A funky acoustic riff paired with lyrics that you can’t help but love (I want to eat you up like a greasy bowl of chilli…oh Mama..or…..when we’re apart I’m just not me…I’m like a chicken pot pie without the peas…Mama). Then there is “Lockjaw” which is another one of my fav’s…which is a clever lyrical romp about anxiety. If you dig deep and find the 2 hidden tracks at the end of this disc you will stumble upon the hidden gem “I Hate Fucking Christmas” which gives an alternate view of the joyousness of the holiday seasons. If you are a fan of Steve Poltz you really need this disc in your collection.
Other Steve Poltz and Rugburns on this blog: