Tin Horn Prayer “Grapple The Rails”

:: Bluebird Theater :: November 30 ::

Tin Horn Prayer

Grapple The Rails

Paper + Plastick Records

4 out of 5 stars

A full album stream of Grapple The Rails is available here:

The sparse, raw arrangement of Tin Horn Prayer’s opening track “Execution Line” off the band’s new album Grapple The Rails features only a stomp box and a strummed banjo, with raspy, hoarse vocals that sing a cautionary tale about betrayal.

The song talks about some heavy shit, but its meager instrumentation almost leads the unfamiliar listener to think that the folk side of the folk-punk Denver group Tin Horn Prayer is winning. However, the remaining 10 songs on the album — the group’s debut full-length for Paper + Plastick Records — kicks that thought from brains as effectively as a pair of steel-toed ‘Doc’ Martens.

For those next ten songs, the band hammers out some classically arranged punk originals, but they do so on mostly acoustic instruments, giving way to a sound that comes across like singer/songwriters with balls, punk rockers with feelings, or bluegrassers with massive addiction issues.

It’s sort of a modern, and local take on Uncle Tupelo, but Uncle Tupelo at the end of a long, heavy-drinking set. Ironically, Grapple The Rails has a track called “Moonshiner” (Uncle Tupelo did, too), but whereas Tupelo sings with some nostalgic longing for the beloved hooch, Tin Horn Prayer’s version sings about booze with proud fervor, “God damn right, I’ll lead you all astray.”

Just because you play acoustic instruments, it doesn’t mean you can’t have anger issues.                         — BFJ


:: Tin Horn Prayer ::

:: Bluebird Theater :: November 30 ::


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