Have you ever needed an album to play in the distance from a back-room stereo because no one else is home and it’s really quiet, and there are actually some chores that need to be done around the house that have been put off? Well, Nashville’s The Great Affairs have released the perfect option for the Southern-bar pop/rocker-at-heart with their new seven-track album, 4, released on Faragon Records in January.
A hybrid band put together from previous members of fORMER, Mink and Bonepony, the four fellows of The Great Affairs have been steadily releasing one album a year since their formation in early 2009, with 4 appropriately titled as their 2012 installment, just barely missing a December release date. Maybe that means they will will give us a total of two of them in 2013, though.
Anyways, by saying this is a great background music album, I mean to say that the cookie-cutter bar-room rock that fills every one of the tracks on 4 is never hard on the ears (so long as the mood strikes you) but there’s nothing outstanding about it when it comes to the group’s stylistic progression into grittier guitars and louder drums, which is somewhat of an adventure for the quartet, as they played a notch more somber in years past. But the band needs to be playing nonetheless, because these guys are tremendously solid.
The production value of the album, along with the tightness of the band’s song structure and progression (be it standard), is a feat of well-trained musicians and producers, as heard in every one of the tracks, clichés and all. The vocalist nails it on the seemingly Black Crowes-/Rod Stewart-inspired vocalizing of “Shame on You,” as the music takes a turn towards The Wallflowers with sweet, sweet Hammond organ running over everything. Ditto for “Rock N’ Roll Heart,” though the organ does eventually give way to other little instrumental intricacies midway through 4, such as piano, tambourine, and the switch to acoustic guitar on the album’s single, “Sherrybaby,” which has an accompanying video posted on the band’s website.
Though every song sounds exactly like it should alongside the other songs on this record and within the template of forlorn, confused, and the “trying-to-figure-out-the-feelings-that-party-girl-made-me-have-when-I-fell-in-love-with-her” when it comes to the lyrics, you may stop washing dishes or dusting the clocks just to tap a foot to a couple of them, such as the more subdued “The Ring,” the last half of “Dyin’ To,” and definitely “Fists & Guitars.” Though instead of a foot tap, the spirit of Lemmy may make you put a rockin’ hole in the wall, but that’s just another chore for later.
The Great Affairs repertoire, along with the songs from 4, contact information and updated information on upcoming shows, can be found through their fan pages on Facebook, as well as at thegreataffairs.com.