Music Review: Dropout City

Dropout City, opens a new window by Trummors
Dropout City starts boldly by exploring some unmarked trails on the opener “Late Arrival,” which leads into some dissonance that is as jagged as Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument. This Taos, New Mexico-based female-male duo proceed to circuitously find their way back to the main trail before returning home to their kerosene lamps, Navajo rugs and Gene Clark records. The 3/4 waltzing “Oh Laura” is achingly reminiscent of the long-forgotten Idaho Falls in presenting a loping, lilting and lamenting tale of a Western drifter set against the vast horizon. In other spots, they evoke the Ladybug Transistor tuned into a classic honky tonk rural radio station. Sometimes, their unhurried pace seems a little too removed from the onward rush of life on songs like “Rollin’ Boulders” and spurs one to mutter, “Giddy up Giddy Up” and reach for the nearest disc by the Dickies.

The tempo picks up on “What You Had” and things start to fall in place on the back stretch of the album. This number rides the steel guitar rails and is straight down the pike with its sage wisdom of “No sense of where you've been.”  Another highlight is Anne Cunningham taking the reins and the lead vocals on “Tulsa Country,” which was written by Pam Polland of Gentle Soul and recorded by the Byrds - the bedrock band of this sound. “Peacock Angel” ventures deep into a hazy mirage and features their intertwined “harmonic convergence” vocals inspired by Friend & Lover, Chuck and Mary Perrin and Everly Brothers records of yore. Their coinciding vocals mostly convey a good natured and welcomed optimistic outlook, and are augmented with a host of proficient musicians from the West Coast Cosmic Country scene. Not to be missed are the pronounced and sweetly plaintive steel guitar lines, which run fluidly throughout the record. Both pedal steel and slide guitars embellish their sound with lovely accents, while filling the spaces between the distant stars and the Western sun. Dropout City is branded with Trummors’ rustic yet dexterous Western borderlands twang, which reminds listeners of adventures that still await in the Land of Enchantment. - Ted (Downtown)