Rocking and Ready

Field Holler (Independent)
The Bad Reeds

By Kory Wilcoxson

Louisville's the Bad Reeds got their start like countless other bands. Formed in high school, they paid their dues playing gigs around the area, struggling to make a name for themselves and "sounding pretty awful," according to Hunter Embry. After earning higher education degrees, the band regrouped with a new maturity, a new sense of direction and a new name the Bad Reeds.

The result is Field Holler, the band's debut CD. The music doesn't imitate a certain sound so much as it perpetuates a sorely lacking musical ethos. The band has its feet firmly rooted in rock with a generous slathering of blues layered throughout the songs. The Bad Reeds, while evoking other bands, really only sound like themselves, which makes their music both fresh and memorable.

The album starts with some loose banter and the opening of a frosty beverage, which creates the perfect atmosphere for "Bad Weather," a raw, rootsy song that lives up to the album's title (which means "songs sung by slaves at work").

The album branches out from there in a couple of different creative and exciting directions. "Voodoo Woman" is a sprawling rock tune which highlights Dane Rodriguez's guitar chops. "Butterfly" is a brooding, boiling song that calls to mind one of those creeping Metallica tracks before James Hetfield shreds his vocal chords. And the rhythm laid down by bassist Brantley Nall and drummer Josh Anna punctuate Embry's rugged lyrics on "Detective Song" and "Quick to Be Bad."

Because of their talent and dedication to their sound, the Bad Reeds could very well be one of the next Louisville bands to blaze a trail out of the city and onto the national scene.

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