by Ryan Meeker
Brian Paddock’s new record Under New Management slaps, y’all. From the first track, the up-tempo rocker, “Three-Quarter Time.” To albums final track, the soulful pedal-steel and Hammond [organ] laden, “Precious Time.” This record has the balance of emotions you want from a really good album. Somber, sweet, self-deprecating, and honest, it’s a subtle, if not subdued departure for the Shimmy and the Burns co-founder.
Under New Management is driving enough to please the rock ‘n rollers, twangy enough to please the country heads, and heartfelt enough to please the acoustic/Americana crowd. I guess there’s a term for that, but I don’t feel like “southern rock” is inclusive enough to describe his sound. Paddock’s gruff, almost gravelly vocals, and deeper than your everyman lyrics glide through some pretty to talk about subjects, without ever feeling dismissive or preachy.
Under New Management gets high marks for musicianship as well. Josh Oliver and Tim Lee (from the post-punk band BARK) track some tasty leads on “Homecoming Queen,” and “Never” respectively. With Jeff Bills (The V-Roys) keeping everyone in time, and sounding damn good doing it. Paddock also provided much of the instrumentation himself, including acoustic and lead guitar, as well as a very Dylan-esque harmonica intro on the track “Bowling Green.”
Under New Management drops this Friday, September 28th. You can pick up a copy digitally in all the usual places, on vinyl and CD at Brian’s website or catch Brian Paddock & The American Gentlemen this Friday at the Central Filling Station where they’ll be opening for The Black Lillies (their new album Stranger to Me comes out that day as well. Check out the fantastic review of their single “Snakes and Telephones,” written by KMW’s September Max), and get a copy from the man himself.