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Massachusetts

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Album Review

In just a short time, the Scud Mountain Boys have risen from relative obscurity (two 1995 albums for indie label Chunk) to a well-earned spot on the Sub Pop roster. The Boys' new album, Massachusetts, is once again a quiet, mostly acoustic collection of soft-spoken songs based around spare country rhythms and laid-back, whisper-light melodies. Massachusetts is more down to earth than the faux-hillbilly ramble poems of Palace Music, but also far less Americana-ized than Son Volt or any of the No Depression hangers-on. The sudden national attention seems not to have spooked the Scuds, and so while Massachusetts feels better crafted than the band's previous two albums — more mature in terms of songwriting — it retains the easygoing, kitchen-table spirit that marked the band's earlier work. This is music that moves slowly but grows on you quickly.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in Northampton, MA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '10s

The cult popularity of Uncle Tupelo and its spin-off groups Wilco and Son Volt opened the doors for what became an entirely new generation of musicians who grew up in the punk rock generation but found genuine connection with traditional country music — especially as interpreted through Gram Parsons, who's more or less the granddaddy of country-rock. The Scud...
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Massachusetts, Scud Mountain Boys
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