1. Time To Say Goodbye
2. Little Sadie
3. Winnebago Warrior
4. You're Toxic
5. Alternative Blue
6. Where Daddy At?
7. Dark Bottle
8. Tuomas The Taffel Robber
9. Keep Moving On
10. All You Fascists Bound To Lose
11. Hello Old Friend
The first song was not your average opening to an album, from the off the band make it clear they have political views and they want you to know. The music is Country and Folk with an almost Punk twist and occasional Rock tinge but the message in this first song is very clear, America is in a mess and needs to get itself sorted out. Country is a conservative genre in a lot of ways as the Dixie Chicks found to their cost (and the president they were unhappy about was nowhere near as divisive as the current one), but Dark Bottle clearly don’t care, they want to make sure Steve Bannon knows he’s not getting it all his own way!
After that they make it clear that any gig of theirs would be a proper country hoedown, they can really play, and they can sing! I found myself thoroughly enjoying this while still trying to focus on the lyrics as they clearly don’t want to write the traditional Country staples, they have a wider aim than that, when they hit that aim it’s tremendous.
By the fourth song it becomes obvious this is band with a rare song writing skill. I loved it, never has a song to an ex sounded so pleased that they are an ex. I’m not sure who it's about but whoever it is they are clearly happy to be rid of them. I would have loved to have seen the face of the person it was written about when they first heard it.
There is wider ambition, the fifth song could be the work of The Pogues but with a harder political edge. The music reminded me a bit of the wild rover and I can imagine its impact on a dance floor but suspect not everyone listening to it will get what it’s about. They may want to explore this area some more, they have a natural talent for it.
After that they’d won me over, my foot was tapping along, I had the urge to spin someone round the dancefloor. I really enjoyed the rest of this album. It’s been a while since I listened to any Country music, this album reminds me just how infectiously fun it can be but, in this case, also making some strong statements. Their story of a robbery is genius, it clearly doesn’t take itself seriously and I’ve never heard a song before where cheese and onion crisps are so integral to the story, it’s a musical first for me!
If you’re not prepared to give Country a go stay away, if you’re more open minded I think you could really enjoy this, it’s an excellent example of political and harder edged Country music by a band who clearly have the ability to take their music in different directions if they want to.
Bandcamp - darkbottle.bandcamp.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/darkbottletampere/
Review - Iain McClay