Dang. It's been a long time since we had some good cowpunk style rock & roll. Sarah Shook and the Disarmers bring some much needed cathartic rock back to the Americana Music scene.
Preview Sidelong by Sarah Shook and the Disarmers.
From the band's media kit:
Sidelong rides in the middle front, before seat belts, of a ’77 Buick Riviera, half joy ride and half escape. Rowdy punk rock insolence to the right, a bottle in a bag; organic three-chords-and-the-truth frankness to the left—one eye in the rearview mirror and one eye on the rough road ahead. It’s a hell of a trip.
North Carolina’s Sarah Shook sings with a conviction and hard honesty sorely lacking in much of today’s Americana landscape. Always passionate, at times profane, Sarah stalks/walks the line between vulnerable and menacing, her voice strong and uneasy, country classic but with contemporary, earthy tension. You can hear in her voice what’s she’s seen; world weary, lessons learned—or not—but always defiant. She level-steady means what she says. Sarah Shook & the Disarmers has been covered by the likes of No Depression, Independent Weekly, and Rolling Stone, with the latter including the group on their July 2016 list of "10 New Country Artists You Need to Know."
Writing with a blunt urgency—so refreshing these days it's almost startling—Sarah's lyrics are in turn smart, funny, mean, and above all, uncompromising. Sly turns of phrase so spot on they feel as old and true as a hymn. Anger that's as confrontational as it is concise. Humor that's as wry and resigned as a park bench prophet. With gallows humor belying the upbeat honky-tonk of “The Nail,” she says everything we've all thought in the worst moments of a relationship gone south: Well, I ain’t your last, you ain’t my first / You can’t decide which fact is worse. Any languid waltz that starts "I'm drinking water tonight cuz I drank all the whiskey this morning" ("Dwight Yoakam") is dipping a bucket into a DEEP well of country pathos—the distorted guitar over the top giving it some real menace. "Fuck Up" is a spry little two-step, but with a devastatingly laconic behind the bar at closing time refrain; the hangdog lyrics speaking to Saturday night regret and Sunday morning repent. “Solitary Confinement” lays out a totally original strategy to keep away from a lover, and the promise in “Misery Without Company,” I’m fixin’ to dry out tomorrow, is wholly unconvincing.