By: Kyle Donley
This alt-country collective has been kicking around since the mid-2000s but their sound is pure ‘90s nostalgia. Eclectic enough to cover a variety of country subgenres (ranging from roots rock to finger-picked folk to the dirty guitar dirges of cowpunk), the Waylons fixate on alt-country’s all-too-familiar topics of lost love and other loner antics yet frame them within the grandiose scope of a spaghetti-western epic.
With their most recent release, Out of Love (2010- self-released), these dusty troubadours aren’t afraid to sound both pretty and frantic, whether it’s the slowburning pedal-steel of American Music Club/Buffalo Tom-esque “Lying in the Sun” or the wild guitar drive of “Disappear Me” (a dead ringer for the Old ‘97s in their prime). While occasionally veering into the pitfalls of adult-contemporary pop (which was the same dreaded fate of several ‘90s alt-country stalwarts looking for a crossover radio hit), the Waylons add enough quirky flourishes to their tunes to avoid sounding like a Toad the Wet Sprocket cover band. The avoidance of weepy string sections certainly helps their cause.
The Waylons pack enough punch to please both the fickle indie rocker and folks who still listen to FM radio. No small feat indeed. So on your break at Tower Records, pop this in your walkman and think about asking out that girl who works at TCBY.