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Rambler 454 

No Name Cafe (Readyfireaim Records)

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When an artist works diligently on a persona, it's usually to hide a musical deficiency. Then there's Rambler 454. These three guys from the East Side have carefully crafted an image of chain-smoking, Blue Ribbon-slamming refugees from the auto-body shop. Look beyond that; the music rocks. On No Name Cafe, the band's second CD, Dan McCoy, Cooter, and Jesse serve up some of the best forget-your-troubles songs you've heard in a long time.

Despite their visuals (coveralls, bowling shirts, oversized caps), Rambler 454 doesn't celebrate the gearhead lifestyle on record. The tunes are an attractive mix of Americana and hard rock, with touches of blues, country-rock, and even punk. "(Almost) Everything I Need" is a nice change of pace: a folk-rocker that still passes the saloon-friendly test. Drink it up.

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