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CD: Old Dominion - Old Dominion

Old Dominion
Old Dominion

Shut Me Up 2:52 Break Up With Him 3:28 Nowhere Fast 3:10 Beer Can in a Truck 3:23 Wrong Turns 3:31
Dirt on a Road 3:02

This review I’m going to do a bit differently. Now, the last review I wrote gave a bit of insight into how I pick the candidates that I’m going to look over. This is no different except for a few minor issues; I almost went to a university in Virginia named Old Dominion University (ODU), I never looked at any other choices to review, I never listened to a sample, and I have no idea what I’m about to get myself into. The reason I chose this band was the song titles. I think almost every single one I have a story of my own to tell.
Shut Me Up, this title is a fairly boring story for me. I had brain surgery about three years ago after a bad car accident. Between that and the nine years I spent in Asia surrounded by Mandarin Chinese, I’ve become rather comfortable talking out loud to myself. Sometimes, I’ll catch myself, other times I just don’t seem to care. Now for the song, let’s see if it’s even close to my story. First off, the song itself is really a great way to begin an album. The guitar goes into a great solo in one part, but also for the rest of the song it is a driving force. When the refrain breaks away the singer almost steals the melody but then the guitar and drum catch up to it as the beat changes. The singer has a deep country voice with a pretty hard southern twang, and yet the band carries more of a rock sound. That combination on this song is beautifully displayed. The lyrics themselves are really relatable to any loose-lip drinker. The girl keeps his mouth busy so he is not off ranting and raving while drunk.
Next up, Break up with Him, is a song I’m sure everyone can relate to. Seriously, who hasn’t been in this situation? I was in college casually sleeping with this amazing girl. Yet, there was one problem, she had a boyfriend; he was on the baseball team, and I wasn’t well thought of by most of those guys. Anyway, she never broke up with him, she changed schools and I wound up sleeping with most of her friends. So, that never happened. Let’s see how close my story relates. This song is much mellower and really driven by the lyrics unlike the first song. The guitar adds a really nice solo. This story and my own, at least in the beginning, completely equal each other. I’m sure if you changed the sexes girls could relate just as much.
I’m constantly going nowhere fast. And that is the third song’s title, Nowhere Fast. I’ve been sitting in my house in Florida for three years now. Although I’ve published my own book, and two of an international literary journal I put together it always seems like I am just treading water. I love the way this song begins; acoustic, poetic vocals. Even when the percussion comes in it is a soft tap, tap, tap…. The story is a recollection of young love. I wonder if this was written then as poetry in a journal and now turned into a song. I like their story better than mine and it is much more poetic.
Now this is the title I’ve been waiting for, Beer Can in a Truck. When I was about 18 or 19 years old, we were in the back of a pickup truck somewhere near my old house in Virginia. We went over a small hill and about a hundred feet ahead of us there was a stoplight. We were travelling at a good speed and as we got near the stoplight I jumped up and threw a beer at the light. I hit the green light, cracking the cover and lodging the beer can inside. It was there for a few days before they took it out. The song opens with a nice jam. Everything about these song lyrics are great; the story, the way they are sung, the meaning behind them. Now this song and my story both have somewhat the same feeling to me. I can just put myself back to those days and smile from ear to ear while conjuring up those memories.
Wrong Turns, my guess is this song is about making bad decisions in life. I personally have probably made a few turns in my life that could be construed by others as wrong, but I believe each and every one was right. This song starts off with just one piano, or keyboard key just tapping over and over, but breaks into a full force hard jam. I love the part of this song where the singer says, “I’m making all the right wrong turns tonight.” It’s about seducing a girl to put it politely.
Dirt on a Road, is the last song. I really don’t have any story for this one. Sure I’ve been down a lot of dirt roads but I don’t think that’s what this is about. This one opens with a recorded track from somewhere saying, “What I need is a man.” This is another song where the singer is almost rapping the lyrics. When the refrain comes in, it changes into more song. This style they’ve developed is unlike anything I’ve ever listened to that actually works. Other bands have attempted and it comes out somewhat awkward, or at very best “wanna be hip hop”, but not here. I actually went into this one completely blind and still have not gone to their website to check them out. They are definitely worth a listen. For me, this will be an album I keep around especially for road trips. It’s just one of those albums that you enjoy listening to the entire thing and have a hard time turning it off. I can just picture myself back in that convertible twenty years ago driving down I10 through the Florida pan handle on the way to New Orleans which kicked off this crazy journey through my life.

Jeremy Frost for Country Music News International

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