In the early 90s there was no shortage of guitar-laden alternative rock. Any guy could pick up an instrument and attempt to get famous, but then again that's just how the industry was. Because of this, there were artists that were over looked and not given the opportunity they deserved. One such band was Nashville based trio, the excuses. They were set up to do big things. They had signed a record contract, were promised a concert tour opening for The Cranberries and were going to do it all until shoddy management derailed their fledgling efforts. It didn't stop them from recording their 13 track debut album in 1994, Messin With My Good Life.
So what happens when life does what it does and three friends that had a tremendous amount of promise come back almost 20 years later to record a followup? The answer is, Ifya got audio, a super cool album that channels The Replacements, a little Social Distortion and even the Gin Blossoms. Jeff Skorik has such a cool voice that has this gravel-ly edge to it that sounds like it's been crafted by Marlboros and cheap whiskey. Bass player Pat Meusel does an incredible job with back up vocals and laying a beat down that gives the tracks such a huge sound but the band isn't complete without Chris Minnis on drums paving the way with his blistering percussion. If they were to tour today, I would want to see them with The Gaslight Anthem because I think their honest brand of rock and roll is what today's music industry is missing.
So how is the album you ask. It's great. I've actually had it in rotation with my other stuff lately. Everyone knows that Pop music is my bread and butter but when you take this style of down-to-earth alternative music that is reminiscent of some of my most favorite groups of all time, there is no way that I am not just going to be all about it. I picked, "in a letter" to be the show piece of this album because I think that its a really cool song where all three guys come together well. A lot of albums have highs and lows but I really don't think there are too many (if any at all) on this album. Each song takes you to a different place and I think that is a hallmark of a fantastic album. I will say that my absolute favorite tracks are "in a letter", "had enough", "oh girl", and "freak". But as I said, there aren't any bad tracks.
It's $10 on bandcamp and remember all the money they make from selling the album goes directly to the artists. So give them your money. Buy both albums, buy their t-shirts because they are totally deserving of your support. Have I steered you wrong in the least at this point in time?
1. in a letter
2. has anybody ever loved you like this?
3. ashley changed her name to brooklyn
4. take it all
5. had enough
6. so far
7. oh girl
8. not that brave
the excuses on the Web