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Sons of Great Dane

Why Ramble?
(self-released)

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The intersection of alt-country's dusty gravel road and power pop's cherry-blossom-littered boulevard is well-traveled. But no matter how many times you cross it, it's nearly always pleasant and endearing. Sons of Great Dane, a four-piece from Kansas City, seems content to park its ice-cream wagon at the corner of this intersection and set up shop. The group's debut album, Why Ramble?, gives equal attention to sensitive pop melodies and clanging country-rock chords. A cursory glance at the track list suggests a much grittier record. Songs named "Bullet Left It's [sic] Barrel's Head" and "Drug Queen Beauty" could be whiskey-scented, country-blues numbers with mournful lyrics and weepy fiddles. Instead, Sons of Great Dane offers upbeat rockers with clean, enthusiastic guitars and Brent Windler's sunny vocals in the foreground — no fiddles in hearing distance. Like Old 97's' better stuff, Why Ramble? can't decide whether to be pretty or to rock, so it settles for both.

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