Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants: "Self-Titled" CD Review // Show at Mercury Lounge on Aug. 14th ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants: "Self-Titled" CD Review // Show at Mercury Lounge on Aug. 14th

DOWNLOAD: Chris Shiflet & The Dead Peasants - "Bandaged"

Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants Release Debut CD on July 13thLong-time Foo Fighter/Me First and the Gimme Gimmes guitarist Chris Shiflett just released his first solo CD (Le Coq Napoleon/RCA) on July 13th. Dialing back the arena rock sound of the Foo Fighters, this album is chock-full of soulful pedal steel and slide guitar-accented songs steeped in Shiflett's longtime appreciation of classic country artists (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams) and rockabilly (Gene Vincent, Elvis, Eddie Cochran). Shiflett uses these artists as a jumping-off point to go down a roots-rock path that has been traveled before by The Knitters, Lee Ving's Range War and later-period Replacements.

The nine-song / 35 minute disc never strays far from its core roots-rock sound but there are a number of variations on this theme throughout the disc. The disc starts out strong with the up-tempo and hooky "Helsinki" and moves from there into the Tom Pettyish "Get Along". Two of the other notable cuts are “An Athiest’s Prayer”, which features a duet with Heather Waters and "God Damn", which includes some stellar guitar work complemented by keyboards and the mandolin.

Shiflett's new disc is a solid effort but he doesn't quite have the vocals prowess of comparable singers like Tom Petty and John Doe and there isn't enough of the memorable melodies and hooks of bands like The Replacements, X / The Knitters or even the Foo Fighters. Fans of the alt-country/roots-rock genre will certainly find something to like here but this may not enough to pull in a casual listener (or Foo Fighter fan).

Chris Shiflett plays the Mercury Lounge of August 14th. Tickets are $12 and Shiflett is playing with Ari Shine.

Chris Shiflett