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Houndmouth w/ Rayland Baxter 

When: Thu., March 6 2014
Price: $16
HOUNDMOUTH

This quartet of Hoosiers dropped its Rough Trade debut, From the Hills Below the City, last year to middling critical acclaim, but wound up touring with the likes of Alabama Shakes, the Drive-by Truckers and Lucero. Shared vocals (mostly guitarist Matt Myers and keyboardist Katie Toupon) highlight the band’s Southern-flavored rock, and practically every song bursts into enormous, full-throated, hard-to-resist choruses. It’s more Exile than Avetts, but lacking in any of the former’s subtle shifts and moods. The lyrics don’t hold up too well under close scrutiny, either, as the Southern state name-dropping, big-house prison tales and “let’s get drunk and take some drugs” stories don’t add up to a believable narrative. They also point to a more fundamental problem, in that honest roots-rock, at baseline, is informed by tragedy or rough times — ain’t no good times without ‘em, as they say, and you know for sure no actual trains were hopped or prison-time done in this LP’s making. That’s hopefully just a by-product of being young, and the band’s rep for passionate live shows does suggest a fun night out. But right now Houndmouth could also use more real-life mileage in their songs. (John Schacht)

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