Dead Confederate's Wrecking Ball sounds like Bleach-era Nirvana covering My Morning Jacket. (That's a good thing.) The Georgia band stirred up some buzz in January with its self-titled EP, a strained, aching redefinition of roots-rock that hinted at something bigger and better. Consider Wrecking Ball the fulfillment of that promise: Howling with impassioned anger about various bleak, gloomy subjects, Hardy Morris masters a musical tension that's reminiscent of Kurt Cobain (especially on the pounding "Goner" and frantic "Start Me Laughing"), with undeniably catchy riffs surging through his band's noise. And while the psychedelic, echoing alt-country guitar should appeal to early MMJ fans, Dead Confederate is considerably more baleful and abrasive. Unfortunately, the band's neo-psych edge means that it takes liberties with song lengths; the two shortest tracks are the album's best, and while there's a good interplay of energy and mood on the longer tracks, they aren't as memorable. Ultimately, though, Dead Confederate's alt-country/grunge hybrid doesn't just feel like a compelling debut, it feels like a compelling new genre.
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