Trailer Bride - Smelling Salts
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Smelling Salts (Bloodshot, 1998)

Trailer Bride

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

One of the more polarizing subgenres of alt. country involves vocals - usually female - that come straight from the alternative rock world being placed atop traditional country/bluegrass instrumentation. Neither fans of today's mainstream country nor those of yesteryear's mainstream country have much use for this generally twangless form of music. However, the subgenre obviously has many devotees, and those people should embrace Trailer Bride.

Trailer Bride differs in some ways from the norm. Their music is decidedly more uptempo than most such acts. The instrumentation borrows as much from traditional blues and folk (lots of harmonica, for example, as well as slide guitar and saw) as from country. And on "Quit That Jealously" and "Yoohoo River," Melissa Swingle does display a smidgen of twang.

It's still a big stretch to call this country music. In its press material, Bloodshot compares the North Carolina band to Gun Club, Son House and Romeo Void - every kind of music but country. That's fine, but just don't confuse them with Kitty Wells.

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