Dexateens with The Features

May 21 • Southgate House (Parlour)

May 20, 2009 at 2:06 pm

For the past 11 years, the Dexateens have been amassing fans and wowing critics with their unique blend of Southern arena Rock, homespun Folk lyricism, Gospel harmonies and contemporary Garage Rock sensibilities. The Tuscaloosa, Ala., quintet has been produced by Punk avatar Tim Kerr and Southern Rock icon-in-waiting Patterson Hood and has earned wildly favorable comparisons to The Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Crazy Horse along the way.

For their latest album, the just-released Singlewide, the Dexateens — with guidance from Nashville producer Mark Nevers (whose talents have been utilized by Lambchop, Bobby Bare Jr. and Charlie Louvin) — take a step back from their raucous electric output and interpret their new batch of songs from a rootsier and more (but certainly not exclusively) acoustic perspective, dialing back the volume and boiling their sound down to its most essential and appealing elements. A big part of that attraction is the intuitive interplay between guitarists/vocalists John Smith and Elliott McPherson, who harmonize and trade riffs like the Deep South doppelgangers for Gary Louris and Mark Olson. The harmonies give Singlewide the interesting sound of the Jayhawks if they’d been raised in the Blah State and weaned on Southern Rock and Soul.

But just because Singlewide is slightly more sparse than previous efforts — as evidenced by wonderfully spartan tracks like “Down Low,” “Grandaddy’s Mouth” and the evocative and gorgeous title cut — don’t think that the Dexateens have forgotten plugs and pedals; “The Ballad of Souls Departed” finds the band channeling their inner Wilco as an undertone of dissonance and noise underpins the quietly powerful Gospel Folk tune. The Dexateens’ full range is on display with Singlewide and that same range will be just as evident when they hit the stage with its complete catalog at their disposal.

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