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Friday, September 4

Album Review: The Warden, East Dallas - Oct 9th, 2015

The Warden: An Anthem to Southern-Style Excess

The Warden, East Dallas
Idol Records
I guess the 12th time’s the charm. Listening to the self-titled debut album from The Warden for at least the 11th time, and not necessarily enjoying it, I realized I’d been listening all wrong. When that happened, I enjoyed everything about these somewhat hackneyed dozen songs. The stories are about drinking and doing stupid shit we all have done. The Warden is an anthem to southern-style excess; for that, I dig it. 

The album opens with “Deny Deny Deny,” a song about taking part in arson, grand theft auto, whiskey, and music… and then denying it. It’s an upbeat toe-tapper. Speaking of toe-tappers, “Little Darlin’” gets my toes going -- there’s even a little chair dancing while I’m writing this. 

Track 3, “County Line” is one of the most entertaining songs on the album. It’s a lot of fun. It feels like a gospel song but, I swear I hear “Oh my God, Oh Boss Hog.” Really, though, this is an out-of-your-seat booty shaker of a song. If you like the small, Southern Baptist church type soul-singin’, you’ll like this song. Promise. 

Did someone say “Miller Lites and shots and fights”? That’s what Ward Richmond’s talking about in “Our Town.” This is a lighthearted look at the autobiography of a musician who enjoys a good time, and then finds love. This is followed up with “Salvation,” a song that seems to be about spending more than a quarter million miles, drunk, behind the wheel. 

There are a lot of shiny spots in the rest of the album, like a tribute to his dad’s guitar in “50 Bucks,” the beautiful voice of Madison King in the duet, “Bullets,” and the honest from a dark place “High Life.” 

Track 10 is a standout in the second half. It’s got a strong, clean guitar, and a lot of local references. If you’re from East Dallas, “Livin’ in the EDT” is your rallying song. 

"It's pretty much lyric-driven," he comments. "Our goal was to up the quality of the music in order to kick a little extra ass, and add some excitement to the lyrics. Basically, it is a tonked up autobiography with a little fiction thrown in for good measure. It's much easier for me to approach it this way, as a tonk album - and probably more entertaining for others - than attempting to write an actual book."

I gotta say, I think he’s right. This album is more about the lyrics and storytelling melody than anything else. Richmond’s voice tells the stories, but when it’s well accompanied is when The Warden is most in charge of the prison. 

The Warden is set for release on October 9th, 2015. If you listen to it, you’ll enjoy it.
Review: Dan Fugate

3 Outta 5 Glowsticks
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