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The Domino Kings

The Back Of Your Mind – 2002 (Slewfoot)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by The Domino Kings

The Domino Kings remain one of the most unabashedly country of current alt-country bands, with a basic sound that hasn't changed from the previous album "Life & 20." What has changed is the overall pace of their output. The opening title track is up-tempo, and the album ends with a couple of fast-paced tunes, but much of what's in-between is country weepers (one notable exception is "Show Me," written and presumably sung by drummer Les Galler, which sounds like The Tractors.)

The departure of Brian Capps makes it clear that remaining leader Steve Newman was always the one with a propensity for the slow stuff, and he wrote 6 of these 12 songs. New member Jimmy Ginnings wrote three, including the opener and closer. There are also two non-originals, with mixed results. The oft recorded "Wine Me Up" is a great tune, but there's nothing special about this version. However, the more obscure "What Do You Do About The Ring" is one of the best tracks.

Biggest problems are that there is little vocal contrast and too many similar tempos. Although the tracks are all good on their own, that translates to an album that is less than the sum of its parts.