Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
When a classic act releases a new album, I sometimes get a little apprehensive. What if the new album is a clunker? What will it do to the legacy of said act? This is probably a little TMI when it comes to how my brain operates. Anyway, I have nothing to worry about when it comes to Top Of The World, 6 String Drag’s brand spankin’ new release. This album is solid from the first note to the last note, and all the stuff in the middle.
The most important question to be asked here is does it rock? And yes, it rocks like a cruise ship in the middle of a hurricane. If I have to pick a rocking front runner, that honor goes to Small Town Punks (Track 3). This song is pure attitude and swagger. Even with the irreverence, the music and vocals never suffer. That is what separates the men from the boys. And these guys went through puberty a long time ago. Just listen to the last minute of this song. It is 60 seconds of loud, screaming guitar ecstasy. And I love every last second of it.
These fellas aren’t just makers of loud and sloppy (sloppy is a good thing in this context) punk rock. They can get downright sensitive as well. If you want to hear a ballad that is as hit-worthy as possible, take a listen to Waste Of Time (Track 7). This song has a little bit of a Beatlesesque/Dear Prudence sort of vibe to it. This song is a thing of beauty. It screams repeat, and repeat again. It definitely has an anthem quality to it. We will still be listening to this song ten years from now and beyond.
This album closes on a very strong note with Robert & Lucy (Track 11). The song is a real stunner that reminds me a lot of The Drive By Truckers in the bar band era. The glue that holds this track, and all of the tracks together, are the vocals and the harmonies. Those elements are the binding of the book. Everything else in this song branches out from there. This song also finishes very strong with a 60 second jam that is intense and oh so easy to listen to.
I hope this review piqued some curiosity and a little bit of a buzz around this album, which deserves a lot of praise and a lot of sales. 6 String Drag is still blending country, punk, and bluegrass together in a totally unique and creative way that no one else can even come close to replicating. Besides, who wants the copy when we can still opt for the original?