A big beat. Then comes lead singer Brian Landrum's plaintive call to arms to the broken-hearted: "Everybody's going out tonight/Everything's going to be all right/Everybody's got a broken heart/Why's it always got to be so hard?" Not quite 20/20s "Yellow Pills," another drum-driven ditty that contains the immortal night-rallying opening lines, "Everybody's feeling groovy/Everybody's got tight pants on," but a fine pre-downtown pep talk for the lonesome nonetheless.
"So Hard" opens this ace sophomore effort from Asheville, N.C.-based Black Eyed Dog that was produced by Ted Comerford and mixed by Mitch Easter. Easter also plays pedal steel, guitar and organ on several tracks.
Landrum and company have crafted a batch of 12 songs that are instantly memorable and easy to fall for. Part of that, of course, is songs like "Speak in Tongues," "Light the Fuse" and "OK" and others on "Distance Inbetween" sound like you've heard them before. You'll certainly detect hints of R.E.M. and the Replacements or, more recently, Whiskeytown and the Jayhawks in Black Eyed Dog's music, but the band's heartfelt and inviting delivery is right on target.