steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Ralph Jones Band

"Drowning in Kentucky" CD

State Bird Records

Genres: indie rock

e-mail the band

Aug 18 - 24 2003

Hot off the heels of the terrific Hilltop Distillery debut, Kentucky-based Commonwealth Audio has produced a whole new album from a whole new band. Drowning in Kentucky is an indie rock record of sorts; grungy, guitar-heavy rock and sparser, pretty pop share the stage on the album's nine track.

"100 Points" starts off as a catchy, My Pal God-esque math rock tune set over a women's voice reading aloud the point allotments of a purity test. It's a catchy number that effectively exemplifies The Ralph Jones Band's sound in two and a half minutes. "Leaving," meanwhile, is a delicate pop tune with an adorable side to it. "I am a Hunter and a Scientist," is catchy anti-melody with mere sighing replacing what would be expected to be a chorus. "Temptress," on the other hand, is dark pop noir with minor key guitars and brooding vocals and "Lately" and "Potato Shine" are alt-country of the absurd.

Altogether, this is a creative, inventive indie rock album with some really catchy, yet unconventional tunes. Lots of this music is not unlike that released by the Fort Hazel label, utilizing minor key melodies and discordant ideas to infectious effect. Nice.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]