Album Review: Alien Country – Like My Life Depends On It
A few years back, I recall there was a motion picture called Cowboys and Aliens or somesuch. Based only on the title – I didn’t care to investigate further – I found the film’s high-concept premise to be, well, stupid. So when I came across Like My Life Depends On It, the new album by a group calling itself Alien Country, my initial reaction was similar. Then I saw the cover art, which did nothing to change that first impression. But what the hell, I thought, why not listen? And so I did.
Good thing. Like My Life Depends On It has little or nothing to do with cowboys lasso-roping little green men. It’s more of a boot-scootin’ good time, with sturdy songwriting and playing. There’s a loose, spashy feel to the drums that gives the whole affair a rough-hewn, honky-tonk vibe. The overlapping vocals on “Relaity Check” suggest that our heroes may have consumed a few to many Fireball shots (or funneled one too many Michelob Ultras) but it’s fun in a loose-limbed kind of way.
The hoary vocals sometimes recall Jerry Garcia at his, well, hoariest, but somehow that suits the music. This album certainly doesn’t fit into the insipid bro-country genre, nor does it quite make the grade as Americana. But as current-day c&w it’ll work just fine. And that’s enough.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.