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'Ride My Galaxy'   

-  Label: 'Dollyrocker Records'
-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '29th April 2022'-  Catalogue No: 'DR20221'

Our Rating:
Common adjectives to describe this band’s brand of Americana are ‘sparse’, ‘world-weary’ and ‘dark’.

Based in the Berkshire Hills of New England, they are led by songwriter Jeb Barry whose glass half-empty world view is summed up by the opening line to Exits: “If life’s a highway, I’m just a wreck on the side of the road.”

However, considering that the 11 songs of the group’s third release were mostly written during the past two years of the Covid pandemic, it’s good to report that the mood is by no means universally bleak. The rough-edged, live in the studio sound actually gives the album a spontaneity and rawness that work in its favour.

For example, Chevy Nova is a relatively cheery opener as Barry reminisces about his first love during the 1970s. There’s also some welcome dry wit to be found in Jenny Why?, a piano tinged song of a not so bright loser who can't find love and protests a little too much.

The singer’s less serious side can also be heard on Outlaws in which he pokes fun at 20-30 year olds who put loud exhausts on small cars to make them seem like race cars.

Of course Barry can’t resist reminding us all that the path of true love rarely runs smoothly. I’ll Be Missing You Again tells us as much and in Diane the more a smitten guy tries to appeal to a girl he fancies, the more she seems to be out of his league. The small consoling thought is: “What good is a heart without dreams?”, a variation on Happy Talk’s “If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?”

In short, despite hitting some humorous notes, the Pawn Shop Saints can still be relied upon to spread the world weariness around so you can sing along with the “I’ve got a half ton of misery” chorus in the closing song.

The Pawn Shop Saints’ website
  author: Martin Raybould

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