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Cap Gun Cowboys 

Atomic Horsepower (Rust Belt Recordings)


Heartache is the Cap Gun Cowboys' business, and business is good. The Cleveland country-western trio claims as much on its latest LP, Atomic Horsepower, making it perhaps the only act of its ilk ever to borrow a line from Megadeth.

By turns irreverent and nostalgic, the Cowboys' wit is almost as sizable as their Buick-sized belt buckles. They mostly come with foot-stompin,' fiddle-inflected rural swing made for the jukebox in a workingman's bar. But then they also turn the Stones' "Honky Tonk Woman" into square-dance music and add a mean trombone to rollicking hoedowns like "Bible Belt" and "Not Quite Right." It's a fresh take on an aged sound. The only thing predictable about this batch of hard-luck, harder-drinkin' tunes is the hangover that's sure to follow.

More by Jason Bracelin


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