Today’s tip-off is the rock & roll country album Indestructible Machine by Lydia Loveless.
We’ve reviewed a lot of female fronted Americana this year, but nothing has been quite like this. Kicking off with screeching guitar, blown out bass and unhinged banjo Indestructible Machine opens more like a Dead Kennedys album than a traditional country rock one. The song, “Bad Way To Go,” quickly settles into a four on the floor slap bass and banjo race for the finish line. Loveless’ voice is strong and holds it’s own with the chaos of the opener, but really starts to shine as the album slows down to a balance of country rock with the occasional classic country song to mix it up. The album trades on the image of Loveless as hell raising whiskey drinking ass kicker, but it’s the moments between and beneath the piss and vinegar that paint a more interesting and complete picture. Just as Loretta Lynn had a “She’s Got You” for every “Fist City,” it’s the more vulnerable moments on Indestructible Machine that help make it stand up on repeat listens. The best moments of the album come when she balances the two and pulls the cover back on the bad girl image as she does on album standout “More Like Them.” The track maintains Loveless’ swagger but reveals the regret behind it too. As Loveless is only 21, we can assume that we’ll see more of that kind of maturity on future works, but that’s not to downplay how strong a this album is. In a year where we reviewed a lot of female fronted Americana Indestructible Machine stands up there with the very best.
Loveless is on tour supporting Indestructible Machine – and Bloomington area readers should note that we get her first – next week at the The Bishop.