REVIEW: Downhome sound up north

Published 5:30 pm Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chicago-based Slamabama’s self-titled debut album is all about the band’s southern roots.

The four-piece band brought their upbeat country sound to Torge’s Thursday night, and the band is looking for a label to release their debut album.

Slamabama’s status as an unsigned band relying heavily on live shows — playing more than 150 in 2009 — is apparent on the album. You’ll tap your toes to upbeat and often catchy numbers like “Throw Me a Rope.” But, the tracks sound crafted for live performances, and can’t quite capture the same tone in the studio versions.

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The album doesn’t hide the band’s love for the south with songs like “Maybe I’m Too Tennessee” and “I Hope My Front Door Faces South.” The album peaks with these ballads, especially with the end of “Tennessee.”

The southern roots show in their lyrics with plentiful references to Chevrolets, the Mason Dixon Line, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jerry Springer.

The lyrics are often playful with lines like, “He left me for a small town slut with a big ol’ butt. Boy let me tell you what.” But often times, the lyrics become lost in the shuffle of too many unneeded words.

Though Slamabama shows promise of a successful recording career, the music is still best heard live with friends willing to party, and maybe someone for a few slow dances.

Though the band is unsigned, the album is available at for $10.