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Gravity Works Fire Burns

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Album Review

Kansas City-based singer/songwriter Chad Rex wears his influences on his sleeve, even going so far as to title one song on his second album "Song for Paul Westerberg to Sing." He definitely means the country-twangy solo Westerberg, not the punk rocking Replacements, because Gravity Works Fire Burns is a straight-up alt-country affair. Chad Rex & the Victorstands work the Whiskeytown/early Jayhawks side of alt-country, with a strong rural Americana vibe and little interest in pushing the boundaries of the style beyond the usual touch of fiddle or mandolin among the twangy guitars. Rex's rough-edged growl of a voice is similarly unpretentious, and his songwriting is consistently solid, but only occasionally particularly memorable, as in the casually cutting couplet "The river's just a place to drown/Every year or so a body's found" in the midst of the otherwise unremarkable "Mile Marker Town." Overall, Gravity Works Fire Burns is enjoyable but slight; even hardcore alt-country fans might find it a little dull.

Gravity Works Fire Burns, Chad Rex and the Victorstands
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