Hands Down Eugene - Madison
Label: XOXO Records
Release Date: November 7, 2006
Hands Down Eugene is led by Matt Moody who self-released four lo-fi indie solo albums in Lawrence, Kansas under the same moniker. When Moody moved from Lawrence to Nashville he decided to turn Hands Down Eugene into a musical collective that has so many musicians involved, it would be ridiculous to list all of the members. Two notable appearances on Madison, the band’s newest album, include Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket and Jarod Reynolds of Ben Folds' backing band. If you saw My Morning Jacket live late in 2006, there is a possibility you are already familiar with Hands Down Eugene.
How is it?
Madison is the sort of laidback album that would seem like the perfect soundtrack for country backyard barbecues in the middle of a nice, warm, and sunny day. Jangling guitar melodies, the occasional straight up rock n’roll riff, and smooth vocals make their marks all over the album, providing a sound that is both simplistic, yet highly enjoyable. Some of the tracks are slow, relaxed numbers (“Calloused Part”, “If It’s Up To Me”) and others are more upbeat, pop influenced numbers (“Full Blast”, “Seeing”). While this album is enjoyable and an easy listen, some songs are similar and can occasionally be monotonous. Overall, this album is a chill record and may not be catchy enough to be blasting on your car stereo with the volume cranked up all the way, but that does not make it any less enjoyable.
Notable Tracks: "Denise", "Full Blast", and "Ticket Girl"