A country music travel tip: Go to Melbourne, Australia.
If you make the pilgrimage to Nashville in search of great country music all you might find is old mate playing a cover that’s been played a million times by countless musicians beforehand – and don’t get us started on Tamworth.
Melbourne is full of the world’s best alt-country songwriters and bands; Eaten By Dogs is one of our favorites. Their songs are honest, rich and spacious. Somehow they’ve managed to make a record that sounds as great in the sun with a beer as it does late at night with a whisky.
It’s a hell of an album. Chris Lichti’s baritone drawl steadily leads us down some dark and melancholy paths, and then with a lyrical wink he can lift you up out again. He’s the kind of guy who likes to write songs that make depression seem recreational and make relationships seem desolate. Some of these songs will give you shivers with their heartfelt earnestness, despite the fact that they were probably written in front of the TV with Wrestlemania on in the background. It’s honest country music; Lichti’s lyrics put you squarely in the shoes of strange characters while the band walk or waltz you through their tales, ever dark and brooding as they carry the tunes - even on the upbeat numbers.
Graveyard Train’s Nick Finch said of the lead single “If It Ain’t Killing You, It’s Sure Killing Me” -
“It’s the musical equivalent of a bronzed man lounging on a deck chair by the pool in some luxury resort. He adjusts his balls, puts down his piña colada, sighs, picks up a razor and slits his wrists”.
Despite some truly bleak song topics, gut wrenching moments and jet black humor, the great thing is there are joyous moments throughout the album as well. It embodies the fact you can get up, find the fun in beating the hell out of life and squeezing every drop out of the bottle just to make it all worth while. Eaten By Dogs: music of hope for the hopeless.
Available through Black Hat Rackets
Release 25 July 2014