Album: The Mastersons, Birds Fly South (New West)

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The Independent Culture

These two married Texans now live elsewhere and tour in Steve Earle's band – with the result that they are metropolitan in their influences.

Chunky electric guitars and dustbin-lid drums support bright pop melodies chirruped solo and in harmony, as if this is 1979 and power-pop is the conjunction on everyone's lips.

The songs are mostly about the trials of love. They succeed in being likeable without taking you anywhere you yearn to go.