I’m known to rant about the mediocrity seemingly endemic to the Americana genre and I was a just about to start up one of those rants four bars into the first song on Bob Collum’s “The Ungrateful Depression” EP when I noticed something unusual was approaching. It was a chorus.
Pedal steel notwithstanding, Bob Collum isn’t faux country, or faux folk for that matter, although his song writing does have that Nashville polish. His songs are properly constructed with both verse and chorus and his words show him to be more a man of wry observation than sentimentality revisited. “Famous Last Words”, for example, shows an intelligence and maturity in its outlook and, with a guitar solo hiding in there, you know that the check shirt wearers are not being courted. Just to make sure that you are convinced of that, the EP ends with “Rebecca Lee” that shows that Bob Collum can stand tall alongside Sweets From A Stranger period Squeeze.
Good songs are what you get here and, whilst the EP would have been much better without the overused and uninspired pedal steel, Bob Collum is thus worthy of your attention.