Hailing from Charleston, SC, the Defilers were making a return trip to Columbia and bringing along a new drummer. I didn’t catch his name, but he sounded great on the fast, rave-up numbers.
The first few songs were pretty formulaic country numbers with tempos fast enough for some barroom dancing. Singer Arleigh blew a little blues harp on a few tunes, and the band threw in some well-known covers: Willie Nelson’s “Whiskey River”, Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” and Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light.”
The second half of the set moved away from country and towards rockabilly, which I thought was the band’s stronger suit. There were also some spaghetti-western instrumental stylings, which helped to spice up the otherwise blasé mix.
As far apart as the two fanbases are, the sounds of country and punk rock apparently aren’t all that incompatible. And apparently, a three-chord country progression is just as boring with distortion and barroom energy. The punk-country style, as exotic as it sounds, was just a little too bland for me.
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