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Most Messed Up

Old 97's

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

By sticking together while also allowing for solo work, Old 97’s are now the veteran band they always imagined they were. The brunt of the work rests on Rhett Miller, who reportedly wanted to pull no punches and play it hard and raw with no commercial considerations; over the years he’s learned he's no mainstream star. So it’s no surprise when the f-bombs fly throughout the mud-kickin’ “Nashville,” where enough electric slide guitar sends the track to nirvana. “Wasted” takes a similar brutal approach to ensure the opening kvetch “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive” isn’t, well, wasted on a handful of feeble attempts at capturing the glory that was always almost the band's to take. Miller is as hungry as he’s ever been and doesn’t leave room for any fancy stylings or mood pieces. Not even “This Is the Ballad” is a ballad. “Intervention” sounds like the hotel room got trashed before anyone agreed to go anywhere. For the first time in their career, Old 97’s play consistently as the band everyone wanted them to be, as honest heirs to The Replacements (whose Tommy Stinson makes a guest appearance).

Customer Reviews

Awesome.

This is the best 97s album since Too Far to Care.

Don't Call It a Comeback

Old 97's are one of the most consistent bands in the business. They manage to channel the sound from when they were hungry & playing small Dallas venues, but with the talent that comes from playing over 20 years together. This entry in their catalog is phenomenal. Haven't heard them sound this cowpunk since the Wreck Your Life & Too Far To Care days; Rhett Miller's songwriting, though, is the difference from those days to Most Messed Up. Going heavy on guitar & tempo plays to the strengths of this combo- Ken Bethea has never sounded better & the assist from Tommy Stinson on some tracks makes it all the better. Lyrically, the songs on this album can stand with the best country songwriting I've ever heard, even with the amount of f-bombs dropped. Best tracks: This Is the Ballad- sure, the title is a bit pretentious, but nuggets aplenty from Miller, combined with massive shreds from Bethea. Nashville- instant classic Old 97's song (though not one I can share with my kids.) Wasted- the most country song of the bunch, filled with gems from Miller's pen. Special mention goes to The Ex of All You See- though buried near the end of the album, this is one of the strongest Murry Hammond songs I've heard in a while, with Bethea's strings standing out once again. Tracks you can skip: Intervention rocks out hard, but not as entertaining as the rest. If there was one song I would remove & add a second Murry song, it's that one. Overall, this is one of the best in the 97's portfolio & should sound HUGE live.

Wish I could give it fifty stars!

I've been listening to these guys for almost twenty years now, I've got all their albums and each one rocks. It's normal for bands to get lazy over time and crank out commercial garbage, but not these guys. Every album blows my mind and leaves me humming the songs for weeks. This new one is a bit grittier in lyrics than some in the past, but there's a level of honesty there that's refreshing to see. The music is as tight as ever, and there is this sound that is unique to this band, call it rock, country, alternative, something...I can't put my finger on it, so I just call it awesome. I hope they will be putting out albums for another twenty years or more.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although they became one of the most enduring bands in the alternative country-rock catalog, Old 97's drew inspiration from a broad range of genres, including the twangy stomp of cowpunk and the melodies of power pop. Formed in 1993 by frontman Rhett Miller and bassist Murry Hammond, the group spent the bulk of the decade posed on the brink of mainstream success, issuing albums that often drew warm reviews but never yielded a substantial hit. Old 97's tightened their sound as the decade drew to a...
Full Bio
Most Messed Up, Old 97's
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