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Singlewide

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Album Review

Singlewide could easily be called the Dexateens' most mature release to date. Elliott McPherson and company no longer come across like a punky honky tonk act in the local dive bar, but this maturity comes not just with age but with having fully learned their instruments, and better songwriting that's less about kicking ass and more about getting by. Each successive Dexateens release has seen the group mellowing, and Singlewide is as easygoing as can be. In many ways it seems more like California surfer folk-rock than the roustabout Alabama Southern rock for which they're known. That's not to say that twang isn't still a big part of the vocals and the guitars, but the thrashing stomp of old has been replaced by mostly acoustic guitars, shuffled drums, and relaxing introspection. McPherson still delivers each line with some nasal drawl, but the guitars fuzz gently or ring with texture rather than blitz away as they once did. Opener "Down Low" sees the lead guitar matching McPherson's delicate, mellow vocals note for note. The slow-picked banjo of "New Boy" adds optimism while McPherson somberly asserts he doesn't want to be "standin' here in Mobile writin' someone else's songs." Only the closer, "Can You Whoop It," rocks out with epic blues of the past and even has its slow-burning moments tempered with humorous cliches about Southern life. Singlewide is a cool 38 minutes of alt country with appeal for both the Southern rock crowd and laid-back summer slackers.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Tuscaloosa, AL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Playing a gale-force fusion of punk and hard rock fueled by massive doses of guitar firepower, the Dexateens came together in Tuscaloosa, AL, in 1998. After the breakup of his band the Phoebes, guitarist Elliott McPherson met drummer Craig Pickering (aka Sweet Dog), who was also bandless after Verga called it quits. Looking to form a high-powered rock band, the two recruited bassist Matt Patton (ex-Model Citizen) and guitarist John Smith (formerly with American Cosmic), and the Dexateens were born....
Full bio
Singlewide, The Dexateens
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