Kevn Kinney and the Golden Palominos, a good country mile (almost loaded records/Redeye): A throwback to the heyday of “pre-corporate,” classic rock, this collaboration between Atlanta-turned-Brooklyndrivin’ n cryin’ frontman Kevn Kinney and all-star new wave combo the Golden Palominos, led by drummerAnton Fier [Feelies, Pere Ubu, Bob Mould Band), claims
inspiration from albums like James Gang Rides Again,Terry Reid’s River, The Faces’ First Step and Marc Benno’s Minnows. It marks a reunion between the two, with Fier previously producing drivin’ and cryin’s 1987 album, whisper tames the lion, as well as the band’s 2009 release, (whatever happened to the) great American bubble factory. With Tony Scherr [Bill Frisell,Norah Jones] on lead guitar, the opening “never gonna change” has a dusty, country feel, while subsequent tracks “gotta move on” and “challenge” are like English variants of Chicago blues, laced through with the gnarled R&B grooves of the Yardbirds and Aerosmith, respectively. Kinney’s honking harp and the roiling w
ah-wah guitars in “hurricane” help convey the song’s titular stormy weather and “goddamn rain,” while “wild dog moon pt. 2” is “All Along the Watchtower” by way of Neil Young and.Crazy Horse. The album is framed by a pair of epic narratives: the almost 10-minute title track is a tale about the sacrifices one makes for art, eschewing a normal life with “a white picket fence and a house on the hill,” while the frankly Byrdsy twang of “Bird” sports a crackling guitar solo that recalls the fractious flights of Television’s Tom Verlaine. Along the way, there are nods to The Band (“set in stone”), Tom Petty (“in the land [of things that used to be])” and, of course, Bob Dylanhimself. (“southwestern state”). Fier originally founded the Golden Palominos 30 years ago as a vehicle to collaborate with other people and explore new genres; three decades later, it’s still infusing old forms with that restless energy. “Well, you build me up/Just to tear me down,” sings Kinney on “in the land…”. He could well be talking about the deconstruction/reconstruction of rock so artfully on display here.