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The Penningtones

Circle of Fifths – 2001 (Go Kustom Rekords)

Reviewed by Tamara Bunnell

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CDs by The Penningtones

Seattle's Penningtones are not a band scrounging to make it in the big time. Both their press information and the photos accompanying this cd suggest a laid back, friends hanging out with friends and playing some instruments approach. The same sense of relaxation can be felt in the seven songs that comprise this ep.

Each track rolls slowly and easily into the next. The sound is twangy folk with a focus on subtle harmony and subdued, but highly diverse, instrumentation.

Varied members of this revolving band write the songs, and their styles are distinct. Songs by Brent Pennington and Hugh Jones have a decidedly more rockabilly or garage flair (the garage influence is made clear with the secret track written by Northwest legends The Sonics), and Stephanie Hodovance and Jimmy Silva's work tends toward the soothing.

While the work is solid overall, the consistently shy and folksy production, and altogether too quiet vocal tracks, do not serve the spicier songs as well as they should. (P.O. Box 45541, Seattle, WA 98145-0541)