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PETUNIA

Inside of You

(TRAPLINE PRODUCTIONS)

Although titularly a solo album, Petunia’s Vipers are wholly-enrolled in kicking his second release into shape, along the way pinning down, with a combination of aggression, artfulness and grace, a further twelve tracks which should serve to enhance this enigma's reputation no end.

In line with Petunia’s own philosophy, ’If there's something you believe in, start on it today’, there was no hanging about in recording Inside of You, it completed within three days, and the frenetic pace of the uptempo numbers mirrors that frenzy. With Patrick Metzger’s booming bass providing the foundation, the heavily-reverbed surf guitar of ‘Runaway Freight Train Heart’ sounds as if Cliff Gallup is spooking the studio. Reprising the sound on ‘Primitive Love’, but with added jagged menace and Mariachi trumpet recalling a re-purposed John Ford western soundtrack, Petunia’s howls are almost overwhelmed by the pounding racket.

Balance is the name of the game, though and Petunia’s croaking croon over the swing of ‘Forgotten Melody’ and the gentle jazz chords, fiddles and military percussion of ‘Lucille’ are gentler examples of his ability to straddle genres and cherry-pick the elements needed to suit his message. Even the buzzing of amplification is left unedited in the latter to give atmosphere to what almost amounts to a song cycle in a little over five giddy minutes.

‘Gunned Down’, a waltz-time Hank Williams-reminiscent deathbed lament cools things a little but the frenzied rockabilly swing pace is restored by ‘They Almost Had Me Believing’, complete with Petunia trademark yodel and strangely-soothing lapsteel before nominal closer (a mystery additional track is on the pressing) continues in the same vein with Stephen Nikleva channelling Scotty Moore and Chet Atkins to fantastic atmospheric effect.

The best vocal performance, however, is reserved for ‘Bicycle Song’, where over the low-octave chatter and whine of guitar and steel, Petunia’s delivery ranges from a rich treacly croak to a Jeff Buckley-like soaring purity in wholly-natural swoops and dips. Beguiling.

www.petuniamusic.com

www.petuniaandthevipers.com

 

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May 2018

1
John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
JJC,MB,SP,RM
2
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
CRS,JB,TK
3
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
HDB,CVL,DHO
4
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
JDO,LK,BK
5
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
MA,JBO,HB
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Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
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Cornelius Chapel Records
 
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Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
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MF
8
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Lucky
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9
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30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
 
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Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
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27 pts.
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27 pts.
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HD
 
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27 pts.
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SZ,LM
14
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
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Proper Records
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Columbia Records
GF
 
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
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Ben Reel
22 pts.
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GC,FC
 
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
 
 
Emily Herring
22 pts.
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Eight 30 Records
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20
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
PJ,FS,JJ
 
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21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
22
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Years
Bloodshot Records
FCE
23
David Starr
19 pts.
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HM
24
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Independent
 
25
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental

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