steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Lonesome Heroes

"Don't Play To Lose" CDEP

Floodwater Records

Genres: country rock, alt country

PO Box 2083
St. Paul, MN 55102

November 2006

Its charm may be simplistic, but there's no denying the appeal of good old country rock. With Okkervil River, Magnolia Electric Co., and similar company carving out an important niche on the modern indie scene, we're starting to see a whole realm of music materialize on the alt. country circuit. Leonard Cohen-referencing Lonesome Heroes are a new act who've put out this EP as Floodwater Records' inaugural release, and they've created five solid but unspectacular country ditties here. With the benefit of both male and female vocals on their side, they give all they have to give on Don't Play to Lose, brandishing their moody, subdued style in full flight. They haven't got the indie rock edge of a band like Okkervil River, nor the emotion or the instant melody, but they stick to the basics and cover them well. "Steel" is a fine example; with a melody like a cowboy's voyage home at twilight and some incredibly placed lap steel, it's exactly what one would hope for from a downbeat Western song. "Oyster," meanwhile, is the second best song on the record - its sorrowful guitar strums and pretty female vocals make for a depressed but lovely finish to the EP.

Don't Play to Lose is simple yet effective; I'd be most inclined to see these folks live, but if downtrodden alt country is your passion, hunt this number down.



Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 5 tracks, 16:51, distributed by the label, released Apr 11 2006]