The Villains review…August 17, 2014…

THE VILLAINS

A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR THE PAIN

UNIVERSAL RECORDS

SAVE THE WORLD–THE FIRST–DADDY’S GOT A SHOTGUN–COMING HOME TO YOU–HARD TIMES (FOR THE WORKING MAN)–IT RAINED EVERYDAY–ALL ABOUT YOU–GOOD FOR NOTHING–LADY CRUZ–ALL THIS TIME–YOU BELONG TO ME–WISH YOU WELL–SUNDOWN

The Villains are a roots-rock band that hail from the Atlanta area, and they have adopted a unique approach to their adult-contemporary sound.  They consist of Dan Call on bass, (who also is the band’s producer), Jimmy James Schmitt and Michael Wilkes on guitars and strings, Magno on guitars and keys, and Sean McNally on drums.  They indeed employ the use of three different lead vocalists for their third album, “A Little Something For The Pain,” with twelve originals and one cool cover.

Along with the three different leads, these songs offer up a varied look at life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.  Several of these cuts will leave you with a peaceful, easy feeling, while a few are hard-line looks at topical social commentary.

The set kicks off with the jangly pop love song, “Save The World,” reminiscent of “Damn The Torpedoes”-era Tom Petty.   Up next is the stunningly-beautiful “The First,” an  ode to the power of young love where, “there’ll never be another first–just you.”  Life on the road which is begiining to exact an emotional toll is the theme of “Coming Home To You,” while a superficial lover with a “who cares about the truth” attitude is studied in the harmony-rich “All About You.”  The set closes with a well-done read of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown,” set in that immortal “room where you do what you don’t confess.”

We had several favorites.  The slide-heavy tale of young lust  that goes a wee bit too far ends up with “Daddy’s Got A Shotgun, ready to send me to Kingdom Come!”  We’ve all had this feeling, too–“I wake up a little further behind every day,” which is the underlying message of that seemingly “dead end road” that is today’s economy, in the gritty “Hard Times (For The Working Man).”  And, a tough look at elements within today’s society reminds us that no matter how big you dream or how hard you work, if you’re branded aas “Good For Nothing” then you are “born to lose.”  This one sounds like a long-lost Travis Tritt or Van Zant brothers gem, with it’s scathing subject matter.

The Villains were shooting for a wider audience with this set, and we believe they have hit on a winning formula.  “A Little Something For The Pain” is varied within its scope, and indeed has something for everyone’s taste!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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