When I spoke to Tex Kerschen of Studded Left on my podcast, he casually mentioned that the band had a new E.P. coming on May 1st. Referring to it as a “honky tonk” release, it seemed like maybe it would be playful if nothing else. Somehow it is both and the new release Sidewalk Vitamins finds a way to add honky tonk twang to the electronica duo’s groove oriented and at times harsh sound.
While the opening song “Around the World and Back Again” has this almost Rolling Stones vibe, it definitely offers a more playful side to what the band has become known for. With Erika Thrasher’s haunting vocals and a percussive undertone, the guitars create a mixture of haze and twang filled hooks. This continues on the ven more twang soaked sound of “Silver Nights” where the dual vocals stand above the music like an old Texas sing-a-long.
But while the band is a far stretch from filling barn dances or beer joints flanked with cowboy hat wearing country fans, they’ve found an inventive way to at least add to their already intriguing sound. “Strange Heaven” has this western structure mixed with psych haziness, but the closer “Beautiful Fun” is where the band really stands out. Thrasher has this attitude that gets met with Kerschen’s, though the song has an almost easy going stride that feels like it’s ready for the range. Abound with twangy notes even in the vocals, Studded Left proves they can keep us guessing even if we have all of the details beforehand.
Sidewalk Vitamins is available to stream on all streaming sites or to purchase digitally from all online music retailers including Bandcamp.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Artist.