A slicker studio presence and an A-list producer have done little to dilute the purity of the Derailers' retro-honk style on their Lucky Dog debut.

A slicker studio presence and an A-list producer have done little to dilute the purity of the Derailers' retro-honk style on their Lucky Dog debut. In fact, the Austin-based quartet has seldom sounded better, whether it's the Mexicali flavor of "More of Your Love," the unbridled roadhouse two-stepper "Bar Exam," or the lush, reverb-drenched ballad "You Know What She's Like." The twin engines of the Derailers are chief singer/songwriters Tony Villanueva and Brian Hofeldt, who, along with Hofeldt's deft guitar work and a sturdy rhythm section, breathe life into the Bakersfield-meets-Everly Brothers of "Your Guess Is Good as Mine," the Orbison-esque ballad "I See My Baby," and the acoustic-based weeper "My Angel's Gettin' Tired." Elsewhere, the instrumental "Country a Go-Go" is a surf-twang romp, and "All the Rage in Paris" is a clever Texas band saga. A 100-proof effort from start to finish, the Derailers appear poised to make their biggest splash yet in a genre rife with watered-down music.—RW