“Close to Home”
Fans of good ol’ fashioned, countrified rock ’n’ roll will find a lot to love in Kansas City band Dollar Fox’s “Close to Home.”
It’s easy for a listener to catch himself singing along with the choruses of songs like “Say My Name” and “Caroline” upon the first listen. The album only gets better with repeated spins.
Recorded in the West Bottoms among the assorted stuff at Good JuJu market, the eight songs on “Close to Home” have a pleasing live, there-in-the-room feel. A comfy, familiar vibe fills the songs, which fit the tag “alt-country” well enough.
The band adds nice, unexpected touches, most notably the accordion. The use of the instrument approaches zydeco in places, but removed from its typical genre associations, the accordion is strangely refreshing in these songs.
A few other sonic surprises show up. The tuba near the end of “Little White Pills,” for example, adds a nice twist to the tried-and-true country/rock paradigm.
What makes “Close to Home” great is solid songwriting, performed by a skilled group and recorded well. Something about traditional, American, roots-inflected rock — the kind that reeks of whiskey and cigarettes — just works. Dollar Fox continues that tradition as well as anyone, and better than many bands mining similar territory. An undeniable amount of heart permeates this record, even in the liner notes.
Put simply, “Close to Home” is as enjoyable a record as many local music fans are likely to hear.