Men of The Weight age with skepticism
This album is aptly titled—The Weight’s alt-country gentlemen are all grown up. But though they’ve learned to throw a great party since 2004’s melancholy 10 Mile Grace, these thirtysomethings have turned cynical with age. Harmonica-and-steel-guitar-laden ballads have transformed into honky-tonk with a reverby drizzling of electric six-string, and frontman Joseph Plunket has gone from delivering heartbroken poetry to nonplussed yawping. “Give me a lady, and rent control … it may take one or it may take both to satisfy my soul,” he warbles on “Talkin’.” But some of his originality has dissipated with this newfound languor, once-shiny metaphors replaced with rusty images of “birds in the bush,” falling stars and “living without regret.” Are Men could accompany Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” on any given Saturday night, when you’re looking to drown in whiskey and stir up a hullabaloo—its joyless humor makes for great heel stomping, but the depression-tinged hangover that follows might not be worth it.