You can just about hear the pints being raised during this rag-tag, barroom stomper. And yet it’s an easy-going barroom stomper, if there can be such a thing—no full-out, Replacements-style aggressive sloppiness for this relatively new Atlanta quintet. You can tell right away from the banjo and harmonica which make their presence known early on. These are not kick-ass instruments; they’re serious ones. So, yeah, there are gang-style sing-alongs and shout-alongs, a chugging, Stones-like rhythm guitar line, and a general feeling of lazy looseness, but something tells me these guys don’t just stumble into their songs. They work for them, and polish them, and in this case what they want to polish was something rough-hewn and loose-limbed. This is not as easy as it sounds.
Take the rousing chorus, for example, which, starting the second time we hear it, offers up not one but two separate sing-along sections—two hooks for the price of one, basically. And yet singer/songwriter Drew Beskin was crafty enough to make us wait for it, to give us one run-through without the second part. There’s a related moment at 2:12, when the end of the first verse is repeated but this time with a couple of extra lyrical lines. It’s a small thing, doesn’t necessarily register to most listeners consciously, but it speaks to the care with which the song was created, even as it flaunts its ramshackle vibe.
“Splitsville” is from the band’s debut seven-song album, Orders From…, which was self-released digitally in June 2010 but is being given a full-fledged national release next month. The whole thing remains free at the band’s Bandcamp page.