Review: Bawcomville – Tranny

avatars-000040440134-25h7i3-t200x200Some town names bring to mind a podunk locale in a far corner of some desolate state where time’s stood still since the early ’90s. One can imagine radio dominated by classic rock, country stations and a local channel famous for its midday farm report. Said station is likely near the lone traffic light or railroad crossing.

Largely secluded from modern day culture (perhaps broadband Internet access is not yet available here), a group of like-minded friends are huddled away in a basement listening to some mix tape received from a cousin or departed friend who now resides in a metropolitan area. Said mix tape contains random songs from left-of-the-dial acts such as XTC, The Replacements, Archers of Loaf, Hüsker Dü (Grant Hart songs), Luna, Sebadoh et al. Drawing inspiration from these seemingly foreign sources, a band is formed.

Welcome to Bawcomville!

Named after the town located in Louisiana (pop. 7,616 according to 2000 Census records), this four-piece band from Dallas, Texas distill the essence of the aforementioned bands into a flurry of melodic, guitar-drenched rock unvarnished by time on their debut LP, Tranny.

From the focused aggression of opener, “Diminished Returns,” to the closing “Cormiers (and the Maze),” Bawcomville balance punk, pop and prog elements across the 12 songs of Tranny. In between resides a clear musical sensibility:  a mix of guitar, bass and drums are melded with organ, piano, pedal steel and strings to temper the raw angst that bubbles through. Melody is not sacrificed at any point, highlighted by Petra Kelly’s backing vocals and violin on the album’s softer moments (“Spanish Moon” and “Learn to Care”) which counterbalance the screams and howls of vocalist Jeycin Fincher.

Bawcomville harness a warmth from their influences, from the familiar bass line of “Aggressive 7’s” and power pop of “Six Ways to Sunday” to the pogo-gallop of “Novice Center,” without any hint of irony. As with any teenage male, attitude is omnipresent on Tranny. Its sound — and that of Bawcomville — is best represented in “Cormiers (and the Maze)” where the protagonist gets the final word:

Stop talking to me, please shut up
Stop talking to me, please shut up
Stop talking to me, please shut up
Stop talking!

How can one ask for anything more of rock and roll!

Stream and purchase Tranny below:

(Based on the video of the Bawcomville, Louisiana’s Redneck Christmas Parade below I don’t think my description was too far off!)

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