Local Wire

ROY

Jesus drives a lightning yellow Trans Am. That's one of a litany of revelations on Seattle band ROY's latest album. Of course, revelations might be hallucinations for a band that takes its moniker from a sad little meth-lab trailer town outside the Rainy City, but that doesn't matter. The quartet that gained critical acclaim (but alas, no commercial success) with its 2004 disc, Big City Sin and Small Town Redemption, continues to folk up rock as only they can -- with sparse, no-flash drumming, unconventional acoustic guitar chords, and songwriting spin-offs from the '60s. And even though ROY boys Ben Verellen and Brian Cook also play in acclaimed indie band These Arms Are Snakes, they'll have none of that subversive success crap for ROY. "I don't want to be a poster boy for glossy 'indie' mags," says Cook. "I don't want to be on a package tour with a bunch of whiny pop-punk bands. I want to put out good records that people will still want to listen to 10 or 12 years from now." Is Killed John Train one of those records? With masterfully crafted tunes like the country-punched "Jesus Drives a Trans Am," the poppy, Pavement-esque "The Middle Son," and the raw folk of "Hotel Congress" (a winsome nod to the Tucson landmark), it may very well be.
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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea