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Roy - Big City Sin and Small Town Redemption (Cover Artwork)

Roy

Roy: Big City Sin and Small Town RedemptionBig City Sin and Small Town Redemption (2004)
Fueled By Ramen Records

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

On their new album Big City Sin and Small Town Redemption, Roy finds themselves dangerously treading water between "credible" alt-country/rock acts such as the Weakerthans and (early) Wilco, and more jokey music along the countrier sides of Ween or They Might Be Giants. It's a very difficult line t.
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On their new album Big City Sin and Small Town Redemption, Roy finds themselves dangerously treading water between "credible" alt-country/rock acts such as the Weakerthans and (early) Wilco, and more jokey music along the countrier sides of Ween or They Might Be Giants. It's a very difficult line to toe, but Roy does it rather admirably.

"Something That's Real," the album's opening track, is a fast-paced rocker with a good guitar line that makes it really easy to hum along. The rock continues into "Don't Overdub My Heart," a slower-paced song, but with a nice rock out chorus towards the end. Sadly, the band seems to unplug their distortion pedals for the remainder of the album, save the fun pop number "They Cut The Cord." It's a shame, because they're quite good when their amps go to eleven.

The good majority of the album is mid-tempo alt-country type stuff, the kind of music I'd imagine most people would want to write if they'd been stuck in the Pacific Northwest all their lives. There's the touching balladry of "Calimucho" juxtaposed against the absurdity of "Never Getting Married" - it's awkward, to say the least.

One thing many people criticize Roy for is their lyrical content. I won't lie, some of the stuff is pretty sophomoric - not neccessarily poo-poo pee-pee jokes, but a whole lot of singing about drugs and alcohol. And it's not even masked as metaphors for something else - Roy simply just likes to sing songs that involve doing drugs and consuming alcohol. It feels kind of elementary, and at points you wonder if they're kidding, but if they're not, you know their sincerity makes up for their lack of a thesaurus in their practice space.

Big City Sin and Small Town Redemption is a bit too big for it's britches, at 14 tracks and 42 minutes. I find myself spacing out for a good part of the first half of the disc, only being snapped out of it by "Rebel Hymn" kicking off side B. This disc might be a tad too ambitious for the band, but there's enough good here to warrant a listen.

MP3s
Rebel Hymn
They Cut The Cord [demo]

VIDEO
Rebel Hymn - High Low

Stream the entire record here

 

 
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Jesu - JesuEnvy - Insomniac DozeThe Draft - In a Million PiecesThe Hope Conspiracy - Death Knows Your NameYoung Widows - Settle Down CityThese Arms Are Snakes - EasterConverge - No HeroesBotch - Unifying Themes Redux [reissue]Botch - 061502 [DVD/CD]Jesu - Conqueror

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (November 22, 2004)

i think they cut the chord and don't overdub my soul are the 2 worst songs on the album, and i still like those songs. this cd is frequently in my player. sometimes for days. the lyrical content may not be metaphores and poetry, but the wordplay and other actual english devices they use are amazing. i'm not a big "alt-country" fan, nor do i see the comparison between roy and the weakerthans, for roy is obviously about having fun and just playing something of the like. these are guys who have "gone to 11" for the majority of their careers, and wanted to do something different. and i think they pull it off well.

Anonymous (June 18, 2004)

This album is WAAAAY better than this review would lead a person to believe. So far it's one of my favorites of the year.

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

www.purevolume.com/thebirdandthevine

Anonymous (February 8, 2004)

somebody just learned ctrl c.

-boba_fett

Anonymous (February 8, 2004)

hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype
hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype
hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype hype

Anonymous (February 8, 2004)

"If you want an example, pick a line from Roy, and as we all learned in 2nd grade it's better to "show than tell"

lots of telling going on"

dude, word up, they dont anchor their shit in believable descriptions. i feel so used.

wyzo

Anonymous (February 7, 2004)

hype hype hype hype hype hype

greg6711 (February 7, 2004)

it's different, no doubt about it, but I don't think it's a great cd. Kinda like the Weakerthans, but the Weakerthans had lyrics being very poetic, and they make you feel.

If you want an example, pick a line from Roy, and as we all learned in 2nd grade it's better to "show than tell"

lots of telling going on

Anonymous (February 7, 2004)

This entire album from begining to end is great.

Ten for the album..

soulbleed (February 7, 2004)

however, sickboi is not cool.

soulbleed (February 7, 2004)

i like scott because he uses proper punctuation and knows that you're supposed to italicize album titles and not quote them.

Anonymous (February 6, 2004)

never heard the cd I just like the comment about going "to 11" my hat goes off to you mr reviewer man

Anonymous (February 6, 2004)

much better than the ep. this album is fantastic.

-travis

Anonymous (February 6, 2004)

Alt Country like the Weakerthans? I don't follow? The Weakerthans? I don't understand.

Barkley

Anonymous (February 6, 2004)

this score is for the tiger comment

Anonymous (February 6, 2004)

i'm sort of on the fence on whether or not to buy this. i liked but didn't love the EP, but i thought they were excellent both times i saw this. and for the record, the band has two ex-members of botch.

some1 (February 6, 2004)

didn't this band get mauled by a tiger?

soulbleed (February 6, 2004)

the first track on this record blew me away when i heard it, but none of the other songs really got the same reaction. they're still good though. solid.

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