Monday, December 1, 2008

Rough Gems: Slimfit

Rough Gems are those artists that haven't gotten the amount of attention they so shrewdly deserve or those that may be on the verge of making it. With any hope, we can change their fortunes by giving them some exposure. Or, at the very least, marginally improve their fan base.


In all of its bare splendor, Lancaster, PA doesn't exactly scream "hotbed for country rock" quite the way that more obvious locales like Nashville and Austin do. But then again, neither did Belleville, Illinois -- the home to alt-country pioneers Uncle Tupelo. And look what happened to them. (You better not have to look.) As long as you write songs about working, drinking and partying, it doesn't matter what part of the country you call home: you're an American band, damnit. And that's exactly the credo that Lancaster's own Slimfit abides by. 

On their often-excellent debut LP Make It Worse, the independent five-piece raucously celebrates the simple, finer things in life -- like "nieces... or, say, the greatest sandwich ever made," by their own admission. That no-frills attitude carries over from Joey McMonagle's and Pat Kirchner's songwriting to the band's execution in playing the songs: stomps like "Which Way You Gonna Go?" and "Fight 'Til You Die" are effortless nods to influences like Tupelo and The Jayhawks. Even when their sound is stripped to just acoustic guitars and a fiddle, like on opener "Midnight Blues," the mood is never somber; rather, an inherent punk spirit always remains. 

Make It Worse is still a release that is very much under-the-radar, but we hope that changes soon. Might we be the ones to sway you? Give it a shot by grabbing the two free mp3s above -- and if you dig, buy the album via CDBaby or iTunes. Don't let your troubles get you down... Make It Worse will make things better. Corny? Yes. True? You bet. 

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