August 26th, 2012 | Album reviews

Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls
Packed for Exile
Still Small

This is so bland and predictable. And it hurts me, after hearing so many great country and country-infused bands this month, to know Jason Heath is oblivious to the fact that he’s reinvented the same sound John Cougar Mellencamp made on his late 80s hit “Cherry Bomb” except, you know, with less oomph to the lyrics and spread over an entire album. Hey, dude, Jason, when you find yourself in a studio doing things like smoothing out the shrillness of an accordion line and making sure the snare drum isn’t too bombastic, it might be wise to take a step back and make sure you’re not ironing out the peaks and valleys and leaving us with nothing but Kansas. (Do I mean the state, or the band? It doesn’t matter.) Hiding behind the genre of “Americana” doesn’t excuse it, nor does the fact that you have changed the world seriously for the better with your band’s SUPER awesome charity work. I admire that about you. But you should have learned from your buddy, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, whose well-intentioned band spawned nothing but rape rock. Having a good heart may work in Kansas, but to get to Emerald City, you also need a brain and some courage.

-D. M. Collins