Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
t's been a long time in coming for SUSTO's lead singer Justin Osborne to attract a bit of attention. But perhaps the South Carolina resident at age 30 and his band are on the brink.
They showed in their first headlining gig in the Boston that they could be up to the task as well playing a chunk of their strong new disc, "& I'm Fine Today."
SUSTO (pronounced "Soo-stow" with the word referring to a folk illness in Latin America) is a country-inspired band that cultivates a rock edge to its songs. A few songs played during the 70-minute set were dyed-in-the-wool country, while others lent themselves more to rock.
Osborne is a veteran, for sure. He started releasing albums at 17, some on his own, some with a previous band and now three with SUSTO. Eleven albums in total, and SUSTO is not exactly a known brand.
The new disc has garnered the band some attention with opening dates with The Lumineers lying ahead. Heck, Osborne even boasted afterwards that he can even pay his rent now. Osborne is not exactly a safe songwriter, writing about being an atheist as well as Jesus and weed. He covers a lot of bases, but at least his songs stood the test in a live setting.
Osborne obviously has learned something about putting on a show. He delivered the material (a good vocal mix as well in the small club with listeners actually being able to hear most all of the lyrics) with authority and confidence, but not too much. Sidekick Corey Campbell provided just the right touches on guitar and keyboards with fellow guitarist Dries Vandenberg sometimes adding lead licks as well to good effect.
For SUSTO, maybe they ought to live by the adage "good things come to those who wait." With shows like this, maybe, just maybe, their time is now.