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The Bottle & Fresh Horses

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Album Review

For their second album, the Refreshments moved away from the half-serious alt-rock that made their debut effort Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy (specifically its caper-chronicling single, "Banditos") a minor hit. With the assistance of producer Paul Leary — who helped his own band, Butthole Surfers, crack the Top 40 charts one year prior — the group dreamed up an earnest, dustier sound, blending heartland rock & roll with elements of country and power-pop. Tracks like "Wanted" and "Preacher's Daughter" spun tales of western outlaws with poppy precision — including handclaps, bright vocal harmonies, and crisp guitars — while "Dolly" and "Good Year" were raw, hook-driven rock songs that went sorely unnoticed on modern rock radio. Although The Bottle & Fresh Horses effectively marked the end of the Refreshments, the album still encouraged frontman Roger Clyne to stretch his country legs, an opportunity that served him well several years later, when he launched the twangy follow-up project Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers. Meanwhile, likeminded groups like the Old 97's enjoyed a greater degree of success with the very same hybrid of rock, country, and pop, but The Bottle & Fresh Horses never really caught fire outside of the band's Arizona home, and it failed to maintain the Refreshments' place in the post-grunge mainstream. Accordingly, consider this record one of the best forgotten gems of its time.

Customer Reviews

Hidden Gem

This is one of those rare albums that sold pretty well, yet nobody knows who the band is unless you told them that it's the same guys responsible for Banditos and (if they still don't know based on that) the King of the Hill tv show theme song. Roger Clyne and the Refreshments followed up their successful debut (Fizzy Fuzzy Big and Buzzy) with TB&FH, and while there are similarities between the two albums in terms of sound, there is an obvious shift towards a more raw, alt-rock/country sound. My favorite songs are Preacher's Daugher (which has a solo in it that sounds like Slash guest-performed), Wanted (one of the Refreshments best), Dolly, Good Year, and Fonder and Blonder. If you like this album, you will like everything there is from Clyne's catalogue. This was the last Refreshments album, but Clyne went on to form Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers which can also be found on iTunes. With that outfit, he's released 5 albums (2 live, 3 studio). I consider this guy to be the best kept secret in modern day rock n' roll. Check it out!

For any other band

For any other band, this would be their masterpiece. However, since it follows one of my all time favorite albums, this is only a very good record. It's obvious they wanted to be seen as a more serious rock band with this album, and in that regard, the album works... but it lacks the charm and wit of the debut. I hardly see their attitude as irksome, as the review says, but endearing. All that said, this is a very solid album with some standout songs. If you miss these guys, track down Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers.

underrated

Great blend of southwestern rock and modern rock. Make sure you have plenty of tequila and beer on hand.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Tempe, AZ

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Although the Gin Blossoms were Tempe, AZ's most recognizable band in the post-grunge era, the Refreshments were perhaps the town's hometown favorite. Their alternative pop/rock sound owed much to the band's Southwestern surroundings, whose influence played a big role on the band's sophomore effort, The Bottle & Fresh Horses, and later came to fruition with the spin-off Americana outfit Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers. Oddly enough, the very elements that endeared the Refreshments to their hometown...
Full Bio
The Bottle & Fresh Horses, Refreshments
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