Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
My kind of country music. Great writing, superb vocals, pitch perfect harmonies, and just the right amount of irreverence. Vandoliers know how to be rowdy without making the music too loud or too chaotic. They are experts at playing loud and fast while still keeping a good song structure and not sacrificing any music or vocal quality. In other words, these guys are consummate professionals.
The singing has a little bit of that Brian Adams sound to it, with some good range. Vandoliers have a description of their music on The Native. I don’t usually post someone else’s words verbatim, but they put it so eloquently that I can’t top it:
“Vandoliers pay tribute to Texas by putting their own spin on the state’s musical history. The Native is exactly what its title suggests: a tour of the many subgenres that originated in the Lone Star State, from outlaw country to Texas swing, electric blues and even Tejano. At the same time, it’s a twist on those familiar sounds, delivered with a wink of the eye and a bang of the head. It’s twang and tattoos, grit and guitars, honky-tonk and horns, Tejano and Telecasters. It’s Vandoliers.”
This is as close to head banging country as you can get. It borders a bit on the energy generated by such acts as the Dropkick Murphys and The Pogues. Proof positive that you don’t just need loud guitars to create that frenetic, energetic atmosphere. Vandoliers are doing quite well without a lot of loud guitars. Not to say that they never use them, because they do. They just pick their spots wisely.
A great release and I am sure an even better live act. If they come to a town near you, don’t pass up the opportunity to see them live. If they can generate this much emotion from a recording, you better call the EMTs.