August 22nd, 2009 | Album reviews

Stream: Grant Langston “Shiner Bock And Vicodin”


(from Stand Up Man out now on MSG)

Grant Langston has a handlebar mustache. He is from Alabama and he plays country-rock. Stand Up Man is filled with solid musicians and loads of twang, but suffers from overproduction and cheesy cliché moments. Langston has a decent voice and can hit the notes but he lacks the lower range that would help him pull these songs out of the lackluster swamp they’re swimming in. It’s easy to hear that Langston enjoys his Waylon & Willie, but he still needs to find his own voice. His most successful moments are when he slows down the tempo on songs like “Just Pretend You Love Me Tonight” and the slightly evil “Call Your Bluff (Swamp Version).” However, the majority of “Stand Up Man” comes off like a Dukes Of Hazzard fan singing karaoke to his favorite country rockers in a sports bar. This could very well be a case of a band that sounds better live than on record—it’s not hard to hear how these songs would benefit from louder guitars and a boozed-up crowd. This record will not create shockwaves, but it will be played at some parties full of corn on the cob and chicken and it will make people smile and it sounds good as the backdrop to the sunset and some beers.

—Eric Claesson