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In a Paper Suit

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Album Review

Knoxville Girls' real genius is in their ability to reinterpret country music, transforming the musical style into something not only palatable but enjoyable to an audience that might not normally find it appealing. On In a Paper Suit, their second studio album, the Girls continue to mine their diverse musical backgrounds (Pussy Galore, Chrome Cranks, Sonic Youth, Gun Club), pulling elements from punk, rockabilly, Downtown art music, and classic rock & roll, and infusing them into a country framework. Their pastiche approach is at its most coherent and compelling on this album. The title track is quintessential Knoxville Girls; London's keyboards and Kid Congo's masterful guitar lend an almost avant-garde flair to the simple melody at the core of the song. Teel's vocals are at times reminiscent of the Big Bopper's, but he runs the gamut from classic country ("50 Feet High, 50 Feet Down") to just weird ("Drop Dead Gorgeous").


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Knoxville Girls, which began in December 1998 as a recording project devised by former members of the New York country-flavored garage band Little Porkchop, aimed to put aside all the hierarchies of rock & roll in favor of voicing democratically its time-worn roots in blues, country, and rockabilly. Co-founders and guitarists Jerry Teel and Jack Martin joined former Congo Norvel guitarist Kid Congo Powers, former Sonic Youth drummer Bob Bert, and former Stab City organist Barry London on the Knoxville...
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In a Paper Suit, Knoxville Girls
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