Macon Greyson 20th Century Accidents www.macongreyson.com
Macon Greyson has long been defined by their alt-country proclivities, which makes 20th Century Accidents an even more pleasant surprise that is also, for my money, their most promising effort. The latest from these rowdy-sounding Dallas gents has a sheen that’s more Big Star than Uncle Tupelo, and the band has never sounded more invigorating.
Balance is the key: a steady, rolling groove is always there to prop up the towering guitars, and their very serious playing never overwhelms Buddy Huffman’s stout songwriting. Even the less impressive tracks (“John Q Blues,” “Time”) are only less impressive in the sense that they don’t quite measure up to the high standard set by gut-punches like “Born Again,” “Black Light,” the slash-and-burn “Minnesota Weather Map” and the sublime “Beams,” a track that would be a truly astonishing accomplishment for any band.
A current of restlessness permeates these songs (“Standing in the crosshairs of a memory you meant to kill, you say you can, but you never will” from the title track; “Presumption’s and pretention’s a disease without a cure, am I fighting right or wrong? I’m never really sure,” from “I’m Still Here”), but the band never seems to take itself seriously in a way that alienates the listener. It’s smart music that can still rock the hell out of a barroom.
Cry in your beer, take off on a philosophical tangent or lean back and let Macon Greyson take you for a trip through their world. This is an album – and live act – not to be missed. – Chris Henderson
Macon Greyson performs tonight at Goode’s Armadillo Palace, 5015 Kirby, 713-526-9700.