Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Heavies / State Drugs split cassette
Although I had never heard of STATE DRUGS, it came as no surprise that it was some Americana type stuff which, if you know me, you know I’ll get down with that shit if I have to. Musically, this kinda comes off as WALLFLOWERS, but with an even less inspired singer. Some subdued PAVEMENT feels every now and then, but not enough to grab me and take me on a wild ride. NATO has an organ in the band now (or maybe I just forgot), which just solidifies his weird-yet-unchallenged position as the absolute best “E Street” punk you ever did hear, which, I gotta admit, I can be a fan of sometimes. Oh yeah, the organ on this gives off a total BLUES BROTHERS vibe, which I totally made fun of the first time, but here I am listening to it again. A few whiffs of early LUCERO-style songwriting seem to be creeping into his usual REPLACEMENTS / BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN-inspired tunes this time around. The punks are gonna trash this, for sure, but if you already like Nato’s stuff, these new songs ain’t bad.