CD Review: The Lumpkins

The Lumpkins
Problems & Flames
Strayney Music

This record made me sad. Not sad in the connecting-with-loss-stuffed-deep-inside kind of way, but sad in a no-money-no-future-no-sense-old-hat kind of way. Good whiskey-drinking music I reckon, and I suppose that is what it’s meant to be. The twang and the lilt of Western Swing is here, the nice fat guitar tone licking around the edges of each verse, that lap steel feel, but the diversity of instrumentation found on Another Wasted Day is not. The record is decidedly stripped down.
“Hello Mr. Death,” is strong and strikes the proper chord for a song with such a name. I think there is meant to be metaphor in, “The Staircase Song.” The sing-songy lament of dysfunction, “Problems & Flames,” likely clarifies it, but maybe I have been around too long to care.
“Feel the Strain of Sorrow Never Ceasing,” is altogether a stronger track with a gritty guitar solo that’s worth the price of admission. “Dying,” does just that. I want to put the wretch out of his misery, smother him with a pillow. “Don’t Lie to Me,”is the tale of another poor soul whose relationship status is still “complicated,” and has yet to take on the considerable responsibility (or savvy) which might result in an OKCupid profile labeled, “polyamorous.”
“Why Do You Treat Me Like a Stranger,” should be self evident given the dysfunctional behavior cataloged earlier. “How Long,” is certainly the question, especially when I found myself stranded on, “Zzyzx Road.”
This record is solid for what it is. I just want it to be more, more melodic, more hooks. I want it to be shorter and more fierce. Maybe less whiskey and more cocaine. Ultimately, the whole thing costs as much as a shot of Makers so buy it for chrissakes.
– C. S. King