Artist: The Von Ehrics
Distributed by: Crustacean Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
After learning about a great classic rock band called The Lonely H from Alex Steininger of In Music We Trust PR, I was certain that Mr. Steininger could not steer me wrong when it came to recommending up and coming artists. So when I received an email from Alex Steininger about a new album from a country punk band called The Von Ehrics, I just had to check it out.
The idea of mixing the two genres of punk and country was rather intriguing to me and I wondered how The Von Ehrics of Dallas, Texas came up with the idea. According to their website, when Robert Jason Vandygriff and Jeffery Wayne Mosley first formed the band in the year 2000, their intent was to combine the influences of music they were raised on - country and gospel - with the music of their rebellious teenage years - punk and metal. Drummer Gabe Aguilar joined the band in 2005.
Loaded is the third full-length album from The Von Ehrics featuring ten tracks of some of the most interesting country music I have ever listened to. There is something about the blend of country music and rocking punk riffs that is very alluring. From the very first track entitled Just Leave Me Out, I was hooked. That smooth country crooning mixed with rocking guitar riffs and pounding drum beat is mesmerizing.
My favorite track on the entire album is Old Chunk of Coal, an uplifting song with lyrics expressing belief in oneself: ďIím just an old chunk of coal / But Iím gonna be a diamond someday.Ē My next favorite is Iíll Like Yours, a tale of two people hooking up for a night in between travels. Least favorite are two songs in which I believe the band strays a bit from its intended sound. What ElseÖ is somewhat of a mess. While I found myself bobbing my head and playing air drums and air guitar to most of the songs on the Loaded album, I just couldnít get into this one. Lost, Found, Free is a somewhat play on words from the hymn Amazing Grace and sounds too slow country to me. Absent is the punk sound I was attracted to.
Thanks to the direction of Alex Steininger, I was happily surprised to discover just how well the country and punk genres blend together. Loaded by The Von Ehrics is a surprisingly good album that inspires head bobbing, air guitar playing, and hand drumming. This album gets your blood pumping with punk riffs and beats while telling a story in the tradition of the country genre. With its fresh sound, The Von Ehrics are a band worthy of mainstream music airplay and Loaded just may be the album that propels them to mainstream music status.