Columbia Free Times

Buck Stanley, Buck Stanley

By Kyle Petersen
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 |
Buck Stanley frontman Stan Gardner | photo by Sean Rayford
Buck Stanley
Buck Stanley
(self-released)

The appeal of Buck Stanley lies in a very specific combination — a visceral amalgam of honky-tonk gallop and spaghetti Western zeal paired with a generous amount of smart-aleck charm. It’s a formula that has always elevated the band’s somewhat generic rock ‘n’ roll, a strength that shines on this self-titled EP.

What: Buck Stanley (EP Release)
Where: New Brookland Tavern, 122 State St.
When: 9 p.m., Friday, March 21
With: Thee Knee Jerks, The Wage Slaves, T.C. Costello
Price: $5, $8 under 21
More Info: newbrooklandtavern.com
Fronted by the deep-throated and sharp-tongued Stan Gardner, more often seen behind a drum kit, Buck Stanley is rounded out by Jam Room head honcho Jay Matheson on bass, Sarah Quick on fiddle, John Furr on lead guitar, and Troy Tague on drums, all of whom deliver raucous energy and acute professionalism to tunes that would otherwise feel a bit too paint-by-numbers.

Despite the talent on hand, the most striking element here is Gardner’s lyrics; his words pull no punches in their middle-class lampooning. “Healed” comes across as an agnostic sneer at true believers, while songs like “Without You,” “S O B,” and “Suburban Home” take direct aim at the comfy consumerism of most of the group’s Gen-X fan base. Gardner knows how to sell his barbs, howling and whistling like a grizzled carnival barker, but the net effect narrows the album’s appeal, undermining the band’s populist sound.

But once you’re wrapped up in these infectious songs, it’s hard not to laugh along.

Let us know what you think: Email music@free-times.com.

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Local restaurants serving locally grown food during Palmetto Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast, July 11-18:

Terra
100 State St., 803-791-3443
West Columbia
terrasc.com

The Southern Belly BBQ

1332 Rosewood Dr., 803-667-9533

Columbia

southernbellybbq.com

Blue Marlin

1200 Lincoln St.
, 803-799-3838

The Vista, Columbia

bluemarlincolumbia.com

Cafe Strudel

300 State St., 803-794-6634

West Columbia

cafestrudel.com

Il Giorgione
 Pizzeria & Wine Bar

2406 Devine St., 803-521-5063
Columbia


ilgiorgione.com

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