Follow Us on Twitter

Jason Isbell - Sirens Of The Ditch

Jason Isbell, Sirens Of The Ditch

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

JASON Isbell is probably best known to fans of Drive-By Truckers and their easy mix of rock, alt-country and psychobilly. But he departed amicably in April 2007 to go solo.

A handful of months on and he’s already put out a debut solo album in the form of Sirens Of The Ditch, a similarly easy-going mix of alt-rock, blues and country.

Album opener Brand New Kind Of Actress certainly sets the stage well, emerging as a rousing slice of power pop that really gets your feet tapping along.

Two songs on and Try also fuses rock with a bluesier riff, some thrilling guitar bursts and a husky set of vocals that provide a no-frills commentary on trying to please a woman.

The easygoing pop vibe returns on the similarly pleasing Chicago Promenade, which puts pianos to the fore and seems destined for some future Cameron Crowe movie soundtrack.

And there’s a really lazy guitar riff running throughout the dusky In A Razor Town that smacks of Tom Petty in alt-country mode.

As impressive as such songs are, however, the album sometimes lacks the consistency of its best work. You really have to dig an American alt-rock sound to fully appreciate it and tracks like Shotgun Wedding and Dress Blues appear quite mundane.

But on the whole, Isbell proves himself to be both an accomplished singer and a cracking guitarist and his break from Drive-By Truckers could well prove a smart move if he continues to better himself as a solo artist.

Download picks: Brand New King Of Actress, Try, Chicago Promenade, In A Razor Town

Track listing:

  1. Brand New Kind Of Actress
  2. Down In A Hole
  3. Try
  4. Chicago Promenade
  5. Dress Blues
  6. Grown
  7. Hurricanes And Hand Grenades
  8. In A Razor Town
  9. Shotgun Wedding
  10. Magician
  11. Devil Is My Running Mate