Those Crosstown Rivals third full length studio album Hell And Back, released 2/26/14 on Shit Starter Records, will take you on that ride quick fast and then have you starting it over for another trip. It’s a full-fledged raucous rock album with just enough twang to bear the map of Kentucky on its sleeve. The four piece representing a thriving Lexington, Kentucky Americana Rock scene consists of Bryan Minks handling vocals and guitar, Nick Walters on lead guitar, and the rhythm section of Cory Hanks and TJ Taylor commandeering bass and drums respectively.
Hell And Back punches you in the face from “play” when the title track opens with an ode to fast livin’ and running from the devil with an almost church-like organ permeating the dual guitar assault from start to finish. This record satisfies my unquenchable thirst for raw rock and group howled choruses. Crisp but not flashy guitar solos and just well put together Cow Punk anthems with a brutal drum attack throughout. You can’t really pigeon-hole Those Crosstown Rivals’ style which aims directly for my heart as a genre loathing sad song enthusiast. There’s some Two Cow Garage, there’s some early Replacements attitude, there’s some Lucero barroom anthems, but more importantly it’s four guys loving music, making it happen, and putting themselves out there… “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” style.
Rather than go through and highlight songs on this record here’s the bottom line… the meat of this album is raw Kentucky branded rock with plenty of southern pride and nods to their influences yet purveying a sound that’s coming into its own. Pedal steel sucker that I am, “The Rain” has been stuck in my head for the past week and a half and I hope it stays there! Hell And Back is definitely a step up in the maturation of the band from its latter records, I genuinely appreciate where they are headed. With Those Crosstown Rivals, Doc Feldman, and a stellar new Josh Nolan record, Kentucky is staking their claim with a vengeance. I’m really excited for the rest of 2014 and what else may be coming down the pike! Visit TCR’s band camp site below and get on board to support this band, and if you’re lucky you’ll get your face melted at one of their live shows. These are badass sons of bitches playing badass rock and roll…Like Men Do.
+Words: Scott Zuppardo+