Sound — 8
Lucero took barroom stylized country rock into modern times. Now, The Izzys have taken over the reins. The band's latest release Keep Your Powder Dry covers a wide range of tunes from campfire cinders to dancehall grooves. Frontman/guitarist Mike Storey leads the band into a repertoire that crosses grit rock with porch folk. The country rock rhythm of Tear Em On Down is embellished by the rollicking guitars of Jack Dawson. Conversely, the focus of Under The Sun is on bassist Aaron Redlin and drummer Tim Kuhl who produce a slow, chugging momentum while the soft flares of the guitars circle around Storey's vocals. The gentle, simmering acoustics are reminiscent of John Lennon's solo material. The spikes in the guitar chords along You Are Free are hyper-volatile while the folksy ramblings of the guitars across Lost On The Way have a gravelly whining. The spiritual feel of the track is reflective of Bob Dylan, which transition into a bristling country rock fluster in Deal.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics show moments of reflection like in Under The Sun with words that claim, That's alright / I'm only lost at sea Don't know what I'm fighting for. In You Are Free, Storey embraces, I know it's hard to stand a world that's so cold Things are not what they seem except when they are. The lyrics also make observations like in Lost On The Way when Storey professes, Make no mistake / there's a narrow escape for a boy who is lost on his way.
Overall Impression — 8
The Izzys keep the flair of country rock lit. Their new album has a barroom vibe, though the tracks are nicely polished sometimes even to a silky sheen. The band puts elements of folk, country and rock to good use and makes it a reflection of today's world.