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Haynes Boys

Guardian Angel – 1996 (Slab)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by Haynes Boys

If you've spent as much time listening to Son Volt and their Uncle as The Haynes Boys seem to have done, you might be interested in this album. However, The Haynes Boys are decidedly less country.

Vocally, the band is from the Jay Farrar school, but succeeds in capturing Farrar's angst morethan his twang. Instrumentally, The Haynes Boys are (besides drums, of course) almost entirely guitars, guitars, and then for variety, more guitars. Guitars that are usually loud and often distorted garage-rock style.

The uptempo numbers hardly qualify as roots-rock, let alone country (and aren't very memorable as rock either). The slow songs are mostly the same tune, and it's one you've heard before. Even the one song that is interesting musically, "Maryhaven Family," degenerates into a noisier than necessary conclusion. The band seems to show more promise lyrically than in other areas, but maintaining the attention level necessary to fully distill the lyrics is not easy.