Monday, August 20, 2007

The Alternate Routes: Good and Reckless and True

Good and Reckless and True
The Alternate Routes
Vanguard Records
Release Date: March 13th

The Alternate Routes officially take the prize for Most Misleading Band Name Ever. The Connecticut-spawned group is, in terms of style and history, merely a faint footprint right smack in the middle of the beaten path. Their latest offering, Good and Reckless and True, throws you few curveballs, and aside from a great story about hitting up a casino to (successfully) raise money to press their second album, their due-paying follows the same plot points outlined in “Turn the Page.”

But you’ll still enjoy the hell out of this album.

It would be easy after the first two tracks to dismiss them as a weird sort of New Radicals throwback; “Ordinary” is a fitting opener, introducing the listener to Tim Warren’s no-nonsense lyrics and clean, impassioned vocals. In fact, half the album could have been written by Dishwalla, and while these songs are enjoyable, it’s the out-of-the-blue formulaic deviations that make this disc worth the 12 bucks.

“Hollywood” is a perfect desert island country ballad, topped off by Eric Donnelly’s angular Willie Nelson-like solo. “Going Home With You,” with its Stones-y fuzz riffs, is as good a “getting laid” song as you’ll ever find, and “Are You Lonely” recalls the organs of Three Dog Night before exploding into a hell-raiser that would make Buckcherry grab its ankles and say “Please sir may I have another!”

Yeah, you’ve heard this stuff before throughout the years—so what? The Alternate Routes are refreshing, devoid of posing, and original in their inspired nostalgia.

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