Hayes Carll, “KMAG YOYO (And Other American Stories)” (Lost Highway)
As suggested by his title “KMAG YOYO,” an acronym soldiers use that stands for “Kiss My (Expletive) Guys, You’re On Your Own,” Hayes Carll doesn’t concern himself with politeness or discretion. Instead, the Texas singer-songwriter continues to detail the debauched lifestyle of a charming rake who not only acknowledges his rambling ways, but at times celebrates his wayward behavior.
Carll climbed from cult favorite to fast-rising Americana star with his previous outing, 2008’s “Trouble In Mind.” His new album shows the fruits of this success: The punkish guitar blast that opens the first song, “Stomp And Holler,” proves that Carll now can afford to take a band on the road instead of touring as a solo act.
He makes the best of new economic standing, drenching the drunken country waltz “Hard Out Here” in steel guitar and employing a jaunty banjo and accordion on “Bottle In My Hand,” which features Canadian honky-tonker Corb Lund and Nashville free spirit Todd Snider joining Carll to toast a life free of mortgages and marriages.
That’s Carll’s M.O.: He conveys the blurry joy of hosting an ongoing party. Whereas contemporary country star Jamey Johnson anchors his honky-tonking in guilt and self-examination, and Blake Shelton treats partying as a weekend release, Carll convincingly contends that daily decadence has its benefits.
CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: In the hyper-driven title song, Carll colorfully imagines a hapless soldier’s experience as the subject of a military experiment to use LSD to make him bolder on dangerous missions.
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