Douglas Shields & the X-Factors - Beerhorse: The Album (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Douglas Shields & the X-Factors

Beerhorse: The Album (2010)


Douglas Shields and his X-Factors seem to follow the sound established by labels like Salinas and Plan-It-X, but they do it so promptly and tightly that there's definitely enjoyment to be had by this particular full-length offering, Beerhorse: The Album.

That template, by the by, is raspy, vaguely John K. Samson-like vocals sung over plugged-in, full instrumentation that's played with a restraint that makes it lightly filled out yet aggressive in nature; and it's all with somewhat of a folk flair to it. And of course, it all sounds warm and organic. Opener "Born the Enemy" is one of the album's longest tracks, using its near-four minutes to furnish nimble verses and a big chorus.

And as the album moves through the buildups and rocking stomp of the title song, something is clear: Everything about this album is a little bit scrappy, but there's nothing on it that could be called a gimmick and it reels forward with a straightforwardness that's actually refreshing--probably because Shields has a great arc to his voice and knows when to ramp up the energy when needed.

"The Keeper" adds a fresh spin to the album with a faster delivery that could be an elder Dillinger Four song in another's hands, while the equally short "Stir Fry Paati" finds Shields hoarsely howling over a more garage punk but still poppy romper. "1950s Prom Song" is anything but, with moments finding Shields and company being completely frantic interspersed with slowed-down calls of "We've never going home!"; the vibe pervades through to the equally manic "Alien Invasion Dream Song."

Beerhorse: The Album ain't a complete bang-up job, but it finds Douglas Shields & the X-Factors following a familiar template well while adding their very own flair.

Beerhorse: The Album