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Do You Love the Sun is the first new Scud Mountain Boys album since Sub Pop released the critically-acclaimed Massachusetts in 1996.
Do You Love the Sun, released on July 9, fulfills the promise of a full-fledged recorded comeback.
Their latest offering features Joe Pernice’s inimitable marriage of exquisitely graceful vocals and a resigned tone that the NME (in a 9 out of 10 Massachusetts review) once described as “the golden voice of damaged, regret oozing from every word like wounded honey… rendering glorious the utter inevitability of failure.”
Starting out simply as the Scuds in western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley in 1991, the group initially cultivated a local following playing loud rock ‘n’ roll. But after those shows, three members — Joe, Stephen and Bruce Tull — would retreat to Bruce’s kitchen to unwind, breaking out old country favorites, playing the songs they thought too quiet and too slow for live performances. The band found that these were the songs they really lived to play, so, adding “mountain boys” to their name, the re-christened Scud Mountain Boys played their first public show in 1993.
Though the band was initially lumped in with the alt-country scene helmed by Son Volt, Wilco, and the hordes of other disciples of Hank Williams, the Scud Mountain Boys have always taken their inspiration as much from hooky ’70s AM pop as from the dirty country road of Johnny Cash.
For the legions of Scud Mountain Boys that have been holding out hope for a follow-up offering to the brilliant Massachusetts, Do You Love the Sun is a welcome ten track return from a band that has been away for too long.