Randy Bandits
"Golden Arrow"

(Soul Kebab Records 2009)Randy Bandits - Golden Arrow

Brooklyn's Randy Bandits are a strange brew. Their second LP, "Golden Arrow," is well-produced and well-played, but the band seems to be struggling to find its identity. On their MySpace page, they brand themselves "Folk Rock / Soul / Psychobilly." I'd delete the psychobilly label all together. I didn't recognize any of the typical trademarks of that class. A faux Southern accent, which frontman Jim Knable seems to be trying on at certain points, doesn't mean you're psychobilly. The folk rock is also lacking.

But somehow it still works. The soul is there. And the piano, horn section, and other percussion, used heavily on the album, invoke more of a jazz feel that might be compared to a Steely Dan recording. There is a gospel feel to some of the tracks, but instead of a religious feel, these are tunes that you'd expect to hear on the jukebox at your favorite watering hole while taking care of your fifth can of PBR. There are upbeat moments to tap your feet to, and then the melancholy ones that you'd misrecollect, in case you really are putting away a 6er of that beer.

"Golden Arrow" is a soulful, jazzy, pseudo country rock record that I'd say you can find some common ground with if you like one or all of the aforementioned genres. Give it a shot, and have a few when you check it out.

B-

buy it!