Snow Patrol & REM “Go Country”

Snow Patrol REM Country Gary Lightbody, Peter Buck, Tired PonyWell, at least REM guitarist Peter Buck, and Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody. And hell, throw in movie starlet Zooey Deschanel as well, why not, and you have the supergroup Tired Pony. I already have tired head thinking about this.

On July 12th the band will be putting out an album called The Place We Ran From which they are calling a “country concept album.” This doesn’t smell like the regular, almost weekly occurrence of some actress or pop personality announcing their intentions to “go country” in an attempt to sully up to that sweet, sweet pop country teat to siphon off some dough and save a sinking career. This seems more about that bastardization of the word “country.”

At least Gary Lightbody, who is from Ireland, is being honest. He told the BBC: “I can’t get away with writing pure country music because I haven’t lived that life…”. He’s calling the album a “twisted love letter to the States.”

Gary lists his influences for the album as Wilco, Calexico, Lambchop, Palace, Smog. “…these bands that look at the darkness in America.”

The superband also includes Tom Smith from rock’s “The Editors,” as well as Richard Colburn, Iain Archer, Jacknife Lee, and Scott McCaughey. The album was recorded in Portland, OR, and the group hopes to put on a concert in London shortly. I keep listing details about this project waiting to find just what is “country” about it. So far, no dice.

Maybe the EPK will help. . . Err, not so much.

Really I don’t have a problem with Wilco or Will Oldham or REM or even this supergroup making this album. I wouldn’t kick Zooey Deschanel out of bed for eating crackers either. But let’s call a spade a spade. This is a rock album with maybe “alt influences” at the most.

More info on this can be found at BBC News, and thanks to nlindsay on the Saving Country Music Message Board for sniffing this out.

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