Twenty years into the scene, the Old 97's decided not to do retrospective, nostalgic album, instead they hit the reset button and doubled down on the carousing, drinking, wild, irresponsible life that is rock & roll, which is to say it's their funnest album yet. As they f-bombs rain down, as they revel in hook up culture, as they thumb their noses at day jobs, you can't help but think it all sounds fun. And yea, even the most buttoned-down listener is gonna want some by the end of the album.
I'm adding "Longer Than You've Been Alive," "Give It Time," "Let's Get Drunk & Get It On," "Nashville," and "Guadalajara."
Preview Most Messed Up by The Old 97's on Amazon.
Most Messed Up by The Old 97's, from the press release:
The Old 97's have confirmed the April 29 release of their new album and ATO debut, 'Most Messed Up' - a revealing, 12-track meditation on 20 years in music that finds them at their raucous, boozy best. It's "a rock opera, a way-off Broadway musical about a musician's life, loves and lubrication," says music critic Bill Flanagan. Recorded in Austin and produced by Salim Nourallah, 'Most Messed Up' also features guest appearances by Tommy Stinson (The Replacements, Guns N' Roses) and Jon Rauhouse (Neko Case) on lap-steel.
Entertainment Weekly just premiered "Longer Than You've Been Alive," the album's epic, 6-minute opening track that pulls back the curtain on both the excesses and tedium of the world of a touring musician. Listen here: http://shorefi.re/1evdT18
Titles like "Wasted," "Intervention," "Wheels Off," "Let's Get Drunk & Get It On," and "Most Messed Up" hint at the kind of narrators frontman Rhett Miller likes to inhabit - men who possess an appetite for indulgence and won't let a few bad decisions get in the way of a good story. The magic in Miller's songwriting lies in the depth that he lends his characters. Upon closer inspection, the hard partying and endless pursuit of a good time often reveals itself to be a Band-Aid covering up deeper wounds and emotional scars. "There's a lot of darkness hidden in this record," Miller explains.
The Old 97's emerged from Dallas twenty years ago at the forefront of a musical movement blending rootsy, country-influenced songwriting with punk rock energy. 'Most Messed Up' follows their recent two-volume set, 'The Grand Theatre,' which found the band as "lifers writing for keeps," according to Rolling Stone, and their 2013 EP featuring Waylon Jennings, 'Old 97's & Waylon Jennings.'