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The Gourds

Blood of the Ram – 2004 (Eleven Thirty)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

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CDs by The Gourds

On their sixth album, "Blood of the Ram," The Gourds come off like an American version of The Pogues as envisioned by the Drive By Truckers. Of course, that sound lasts as long as the album's opener, "Lower 48," right up until the band zigs into their new wave Marshall Tucker mode ("TTT Gas") and then zags into their Doug Sahm-in-Motown groove ("Escalade").

Describing an average Gourds song is like predicting the exact path of the average tornado. Stylistically, the band draws from every genre of music they've ever heard, twisting and banging on it with the tenacity and vision of sonic sculptors until they've incorporated the sound they choose into the form they desire.

Although The Gourds use zydeco, country, blues, rock, folk, bluegrass and everything in between, they are merely flavors in a Texas gumbo laced with lyrics that teeter between laugh out loud revelry and bleak Southern gothic murder balladry. If you can't find anything to like in The Gourds, you don't like much. Box 5249, Austin, TX 78763)