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Pure Cane

Pure Cane

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Like the defunct Alabama-based group Brother Cane, Pure Cane can deliver the occasional swamp-rock riff and catchy drum-driven chorus. The Kansas band shares few other musical similarities with its implied sibling, with singer Cori Holbert injecting serious soul into some tunes and her bandmates wandering off on enjoyable jazz tangents during others. On the mildly funky opener, "Only Woman," Holbert growls her intentions to break an overly amorous suitor's hand if he doesn't hastily remove it from her thigh. She strikes a menacing pose again on "Raven," sneering at a "sweet little Catholic boy" over a stop-and-start backdrop that settles into a comfortable groove. Because of the mood these intimidating lyrics create, it takes awhile to realize that Pure Cane seldom really rocks, with "Firelight" and "Sage" providing punch between such subtle melodic numbers as "You Fear" and "Taken." This debut release acts as a stellar advertisement for the band's live show, as the charismatic Holbert, barely contained on the record, would be free to roam in a concert setting, providing an enthralling edge to the slower-paced material and making the heavier tunes incendiary.

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