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Cast Iron Filter

Falls of Rough – 2005 (RCAM)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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The Cast Iron Filter band photo in the liner notes with four guys who look like they have bad intentions - one member is wearing silver, space-age pants with no shirt and suspenders - makes this seem like it's going to be more fun than it actually is.

The Charlotte,N.C.-based group's "Irongrass" sounds combines chunks of bluegrass, Southern rock and college frat rock to not always satisfying effect. The songs center around characters from a small Kentucky town during the first half of 20th century. There are pistol-packin' mamas ("Redemption"), murderous sheriffs ("Murder Makes a Crimson Sky") and a mayor's wife turned flood victim ("When You Walk Into the Shining Light"). Their stories are interesting enough, and songs like the fist-pumping opener "Model T Ford" or the sweetly-swaying instrumental "Chronicle" are quite enjoyable, but there is a sort of bland "Hootieness" that runs through "Falls of Rough" that's a turn off. Maybe's it's just lead singer Dustin Edge's over-the-top, Darius-Rucker-meets-Scott Weiland vocals.

In the end, "Falls of Rough" has its moments but falls a little flat.