Saturday, August 11, 2012

Album Review: What

Title:  What (BandCamp, iTunes)
Artist:  Hey Judy (Facebook, BandCamp, ReverbNation, Last.fm)

Tulsa, OK’s Hey Judy’s full-length debut What is an eclectic mix of punk, folk, rockabilly, and country.  The record opens with the tongue-in-cheek “Soundcheck Song” that reminds me of The Dead Milkmen’s “Punk Rock Girl.”  Next is the rockin’ “Buffalosaurus” followed by the sparse ballads “St. Paul” and “The Trouble With Lycanthropy.”  Next is my favorite song on the record “Lil’ Evenlyn,” a jumping number with rockabilly guitar that is reminiscent of early Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins records.  “I Cry” is another haunting ballad, this time driven by bassist Judy Webb’s beautiful classic country vocals.  “Hideaway” is another up-tempo rockabilly number followed by the ballad “Untitled and Unfinished.”  The album begins to wind down with the dark near ballad “Laura's Aural Aura” followed “Sinkin’ Feelin’.”  The record closes on an upbeat note with the killer guitar riff of “Press Their Luck.” 

There are two things that really make Hey Judy’s music work: 1) The harmonies—Aaron and Judy Webb’s voices mix wonderfully and create an very unique vibe and sound.  2) The mixture of sounds and styles—Hey Judy pulls from a lot of traditional American music in creating their sound; what makes it work so well is that it is not at all derivative or overdone.  This band has dipped into a well that is extremely well used and drawn out of it a sound that is recognizable and unique all at the same time.   

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