This World Just Won't Leave You Alone

Star Room Boys of Athens, Ga., combine tasteful musicianship and twang-oriented sensibilities with edgy, insightful lyrics and more regret than 10 George Jones albums. The hurtin' imagery cuts deep on

Star Room Boys of Athens, Ga., combine tasteful musicianship and twang-oriented sensibilities with edgy, insightful lyrics and more regret than 10 George Jones albums. The hurtin' imagery cuts deep on such songs as "White Lies, Blue Tears" and sorrowful, steel-drenched observations like "If I Can Ever Get It Back Again" and "Cocaine Parties." Singer Dave Marr is

a sincere and moving vocalist, recalling at times Jason Ringenberg of Jason & the Scorchers fame, but these Boys

stay firmly on the "cow" side of the

cow-punk fence. Cool lyrics hide behind every corner, like "I used to hold liquor like the strongest of men/But now I'm just holding it dear" on "Whiskey and You." Elsewhere, "The Daydreamer"

is a manic thumper, "Bars and Stone"

is the best prison song in years, and the exquisitely rendered title cut and "When I'm All the Way Down" accept impending downfall as inevitable. A fine, fine piece of work, This World Just Won't Leave You Alone is further evidence that Missouri-based Slewfoot is putting out some of the best country music anywhere. Racked by City Hall.—RW