login | Register

The Grand Theatre Vol. 2

by: Old 97s

Album Artwork

(New West Records)

The Old 97s formed in Dallas, Texas, during 1993. The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 counts as their 9th studio album. These 13 songs were intended to be a double album--with Vol.1, but the group decided to release the sessions seperately. A while back, Rhett Miller told the Dallas Observer that "Volume Two is gonna be a little more swing and a little more, well... softer." But, just a little...

Rhett Miller and Murry Hammond still serve as the nucleus of the 97s. "Brown Haired Daughter" opens Vol. 2 with a sand burn edge, spiced by a melodic Beatles twang. Miller sings "I'm a Trainwreck" with bona fide honesty, and proves the band still makes great music.

"Perfume" rings true like an old country song heard in a pool hall. "The Actor", a raw hillbilly rocker, presses the pedal to the floor. "No Simple Machine" is a type of song the Old 97s flex their musical muscle on. "White Port" is a modern day drinking song. "Ivy" revolves around a mysterious girl, and greasy guitar riffs.

"Manhattan (I'm Done)" contains kerosene guitar hooks, while "Marguita" burns like paper in fire. The Old 97s are not afraid to get in your face, and they do just that on "Bright Spark". "Visiting Hours" evokes Social Distortion, The Replacements and Jason & The Scorchers. "How Lovely All It Was" serves as grand testimony to the Old 97s ability to construct memorable songs...a fine tune.

"You Call It Rain", the final cut, shines as one of the brightest songs on this strong collection. Miller mentioned in a later interview the intention of Vol. 2 was to "expand on the themes found in Vol. 1, both sonically and lyrically. We've delved further into our experiments in gritty garage rock and at times spun further into lush psychedelia."

Have a dose of this potent mojo...

James Calemine


All Swampland Reviews

Swampland: Texas


related tags

Mystery and Manners,


Please login or you can to leave a comment.

If you aren't registered, Register Now to start leaving comments.

Copyright 1998-2018 by Swampland Inc. All rights reserved.