The Derailers - Full Western Dress
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Full Western Dress (Sire, 1999)

The Derailers

Reviewed by Eric Zehnbauer

The Derailers' latest release is a real tour de force, easily their best release to date. Already known as great purveyors of honky-tonk, the Derailers display evidence of their other musical influences, displaying some mighty pop music chops. Drawing heavily on pop music such as that which flowed out of every AM radio in the early '60s, they score direct hits with "Just To Spend The Night With You," "Whatever Made You Change Your Mind," and a killer cover of the Phil Spector-penned "Then She Kissed Me," which was a major hit for The Crystals in 1964 (as "Then He Kissed Me"). All are reminiscent of the groups of the British Invasion, or the Everly Brothers or even the Monkees, all with a twang which recalls the Bakersfield sound. Changing gears, they do the most uncanny Roy Orbison sound-alike since Raul Malo with the haunting ballad, "Longing."

There's also plenty of the trademark honky-tonk sounds one expects from the Derailers, including "Hold On Fool Heart" and "The Lost and Found," the latter being one of the best honky-tonkers heard in quite a while. Stellar production by Dave Alvin helps create an awesome album that never misses a step.

CDs by The Derailers

Under the Influence of Buck, 2007 Soldiers of Love, 2006

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