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Naked Omaha

Belt – 2000 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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CDs by Naked Omaha

They have a midwestern name and a county rock sound straight from the heartland, but the four-piece Naked Omaha calls Philadelphia home. And fans of groups like Son Volt and the Bottle Rockets will call this debut release good.

Naked Omaha breaks no new ground, satisfying itself with the tried and true of "classic" alt.country. However, well-written songs with catchy melodies and raunchy power chord blasts make this a genuine and enjoyable effort. Songs like "Steeplejack" and "Mind for Murder" would fit in along side the red-blooded, blue-collar anthems of the aforementioned groups' "Trace" and "The Brooklyn Side."

The intimate setting of bassist Walt Collins' home studio comes across on the album, with songs like "Upper Darby Acre" and "Diesel River" sounding like they were recorded over late-afternoon drinks. You have the feeling if you were listening to this music in some smoky and steamy bar, tight with bodies and beer, Naked Omaha's songs would come off like scripture. "Belt" doesn't quite achieve that, but it's a fine listen nevertheless (nakedomaha@juno.com).