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Reckless Kelly

Sunset Motel – 2016 (No Big Deal)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Reckless Kelly

With "Buckaroo" off Reckless Kelly's "Sunset Motel" the band gives us one of the best hurtin' songs in recent memory. "You were my angel/I was your buckaroo," they tell us with deep regret. And after all the booze has worn off, the cold, harsh facts of life come clearly into view. "Now that I'm sober/I wish you were home." "Sunset Motel" is like a sturdy truck, strong and dependable. It also contains plenty of creative charm.

The title track may be a play on dying Hollywood dreams. After all, motel life does not even come close to living the glitzy hotel life. The song's title song reads like one man's last plea for help before he goes down for the last time. Even on a song that praises another's victory, called "The Champ," they remind us, "For every hard won battle/There's a losing side." Nevertheless, the latter's jangling electric guitars and organ fills make for a champion level accompaniment. "One More One Last Time" has the sort of sullen resignation you might expect from Rocky Balboa - at least until he gets talked into going the distance one more time.

It's doubtful any songs off "Sunset Motel" will end up on a Rocky soundtrack. There isn't an "Eye of the Tiger" in the bunch. To paraphrase Bruce Springsteen, Reckless Kelly sound like a dog that's been beat too much, so it spends half its life just a-coverin' up. Nevertheless, it's still in the ring.