[gratuitous review.]

Tumbledown @ The Bit Saloon. I told myself that I would never write a Tumbledown review. The reason is obvious: I'm clearly biased. First, because I'm a southern girl and grew up listening to country music. It's in my blood and one of my favorite genres of music. Secondly, because I'm married to the lead singer and I really, really love to hear him play regardless of what he's playing or which band he's playing with.

That being said, I found myself making mental notes during the Tumbledown show last night and after all the shows in all the bars I've seen, here it is. My review.

It's a Thursday night in Seattle and these guys play like they have a score to settle. None of them simply play their instrument... they pound it, they beat it, they tear it up, they kill it.

Marshall slaps the chords of his stand-up bass, beating it into submission with each song they play. He picks it up, drops it, and spins it- in complete control of each note.

Jack makes the chords of his electric guitar bleed as they try to keep up with his skilled picking. He does it with such ease, it almost seems like he's playing with it, teasing it, waiting for just the right moment to unleash a solo that melts your ears..It's so good, it's stupid.

Then, Mike screams into the microphone... literally. That may seem sort of unlikely for a country band but this is punk-a-billy--- uncharted musical territory--- and the screaming sounds like an organic piece of the music. His guitar takes a beating but keeps the pace perfectly as he sings about "taking it outside" in the fight song perfectly dubbed "Came Here To Fight".

They play each song with something like venom.. a speeded up, cracked out version of the songs on the album. It's like they're trying to beat their own time or record.. like they have something to prove. It's hot in here.. it's hot at every show they play. The room radiates the feeling they're giving off with each song. Whether it's anger, testosterone or sheer excitement, the audience loves it. They're moving in place, vibrating to each song, wanting to hear the next one before this one's even finished. They can't get enough.

Next thing I know Mike's on his knees whipping his guitar... and as the song comes to an end, I actually believe someone's going to be taking a licking in the alley behind the bar tonight.

Like I said before, these guys play like they have a score to settle, a bone to pick, they brought bigger guns than you did to this gunfight, and they're taking country music hostage. I don't care what it's called, whether it's punk western, hillbilly rock, or punk-a-billy... I like it.

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