Macon Greyson – Translate

Music Reviews Macon Greyson
Macon Greyson – Translate

In the five years of Macon Greyson’s existence, it’s gone from “Best Bar Band In Three Counties” to “Texas Music Stalwart With Winsome Son Volt Fixation,” and now, with Translate, the band makes a serious run at becoming “Best Rock Outfit You’ve Never Heard Of.” The wisdom of Petty seems to have settled in on these boys with a vengeance: make the hooks catchy, the lyrics smart and plug the guitar straight into the amp. The result of this epiphany is some of the most vital, urgent and direct rock since Wilco abandoned their Gram worship for greener, abstract pastures of artsy splendor. Look, I dig shortwave-static-as-metaphor-for-the-human-condition as much as the next guy. But the opening bars of Translate’s “Save Us All”, complete with crunched-out, Stones-ey swagger, and yes, more cowbell, are so effective it makes you wonder if those northern alt-country posers were just slumming after all. Lead singer and principle songwriter Buddy Huffman has developed into a witty, straight-shooting tunesmith who’s happy to leave the sprawling, avant-garde ambiguity to the art school dropouts and English majors. With earnest emotion and flawless arrangements in songs like “Million Hearts” and “Patchwork Alibis,” Huffman proves that execution still trumps concept. Translate is remarkably consistent—the tracks are durable and even gain potency with repeated listens. More than just a worthy tribute to the enduring effectiveness of the blues riff and the verse/chorus structure, Translate is one of those records that makes you wonder why a band would ever try anything else.

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