500 Miles to Memphis' polished cow-punk - Tonight @ Tremont Music Hall
It’s actually 409 miles from this band’s Cincinnati base to Memphis, so that’s the first bit of disinformation you encounter.
The next, if you hopped on board for their self-titled debut, is that this is still a great rowdy cow-punk bar band; not so much anymore, at least on record. Their third and latest studio effort, We’ve Built Up to Nothing, is much more polished and punk-inflected (yes, that should be an oxymoron). The transition isn’t all that different (or any more beneficial) from fellow thematic travelers the Old 97s, who turned from wonderfully sloppy cow-punk to professional twang rock with equally ambivalent results.