Album Review

Frog Holler - Haywire

Frog Holler - Haywire

Reading the lyrics in the liner notes of Frog Hollers fourth full-length disc is nearly as rewarding as listening to the album. Songwriter and vocalist Darren Schlappich is a real-deal storyteller, mixing everyday language and creative phrasing to produce vivid, exciting images that might make you smile, tug on your heart, offer hard-earned wisdom or do all three. The backwardists have tried to pull me into the dark, but if Im looking ahead, will it tear us apart? he ponders on the anxiety-ridden 74. Tell me what you think and dont apologize, or turn it all around; I call that truthing a lie. Haywire isnt much of a departure from Frog Hollers past efforts. Sweet melodies, rock crunch, and varied instrumentation, including lap steel and banjo, merge with Schlappichs infectiously lazy drawl to make songs you cant get out of your head. Guitarist John Kilgore and steel guitarist Todd Bartolo shine on the distortion friendly rave-up One Last Time. Terms And Conditions is a bluegrassy number, but with a Frog Holler spin that makes it accessible even if youve never heard of Flatt & Scruggs. All this band has to offer is talent, great songs, and consistency.