February 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: The Reserves – Made in Tennessee EP

The Reserves
Made in Tennessee EP
Stik Man Records
Street: 11.25.13
The Reserves = Rose Tattoo + The 4-Skins
This is blue collar rock n’ roll from the Volunteer State. If nothing else, Made in Tennessee holds the marked distinction of featuring a punk cover of the old folk standard “Oh Shenandoah.” When it comes to Oi!, monkeying with the formula usually brings lukewarm results. The Reserves succeed by deviating sparingly (the Avail influences throughout really can’t be denied) and sticking to a fairly established rock n’ roll template, only occasionally drifting into something goofy—derivative, but competent. There’s a hard-luck track (“All Work No Pay”), a fight track (“Shitmouth”) and a boozy one about the sauce (“Bittersweet Toast”). Its melodies are tight, earnest and may swing a little too sweet for the more grizzled Oi! fans, so it’s probably best to approach the album as a straight “rock” album, and draw from it what you will. –Dylan Chadwick