Death and Country
Dead Rock West, made up of siblings Cindy and Rob Wasserman, make old-school country music with alternative rock flair. As seen on their 2006 release Honey and Salt, the Wassermans fully explore beautiful vocal harmonies, gritty, twangy guitar tones, the staple acoustic ballad or two and even the occasional harmonica. Perhaps because they are a brother/sister duo the Wasserman’s donâ€šÃ„Ã´t preoccupy themselves with love on Honey and Salt but rather focus on the power of the human spiritâ€šÃ„Ã®finding the self, searching the soul, etc. When they make mention of the L word at the end of the album it highlights their inability to craft great lyrics, a failure which holds their work from consideration as good country music.
ame Not all country music is clichâˆšÂ©, yet some of Cindy Wasserman’s lyrics are the reason why some people have given up on the genre and see it as an archaic medium. Her simplistic writing on â€šÃ„ÃºI Really Wanted Youâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is a microcosm of this: “”You say you don’t like me / So what can I say / I gave you what I had to give / you pushed it all away / You act like you’re better than me / you talk like you’re smarter than me / I wish that you’d let me be / But you don’t ever think of me.””
ame No one listens to country music or folk music to hear groundbreaking production, non-Western rhythms and creative instrumentation. Yet many listeners do expect and have often heard lyrics interesting enough to compensate for commonplace musical accompaniment. Dead Rock West shouldn’t be grouped with alt-country acts like Band of Horses or Wilco, but at the same time don’t fit into the old country-rock traditions of The Band, Johnny Cash and The Byrds. They are caught in an undefined Purgatory between musical genres. This stasis skyrockets certain innovative, fence-straddling artists to fame; for Dead Rock West, it simply serves as a hindrance.