Bar bands are always in the background, simmering beneath the surface of a mainstream music scene developing simple gems often overlooked by the masses. That said, there’s no way that critics like myself can peg War Panties as the conventional bar band by this definition; their new singles “Creaky Crooked Woman” and “Delaware Cornfields” demand a gut-reaction out of listeners through their uniquely warm tonal features (the best of which are sourced from acoustic and electric guitars the same). This is indie Kentucky in every possible department, and I’d say War Panties have enough charisma to assert themselves as the best act out of the Louisville scene at the moment.
There’s a heady blues influence to “Creaky Crooked Woman” that shows the band unafraid to strip away theatrical virtuosities in the name of giving us simple, unforgettable sears from the guitar part. It’s a conservative look that isn’t as present in the Americana-saturated “Delaware Cornfields,” but this might be the most significant point in their decision to release the singles together this season. Between the wittiness of the lyrical content mixed with the serious nature of the musicianship, there’s no debating whether or not maintaining versatility is a priority to this band.
The percussion is fairly loud and boisterous in both tracks, but it’s never quite as thunderous as it could be in the case of “Creaky Crooked Woman” – something that initially puzzled me given the relative fragility of the song’s bottom-end in general. It could be an oversight or even a deliberate attempt to break away from what another act might have done in the same scenario, but in either case I think it’s subtle details like this one that allude to War Panties’ deeper capabilities (most of which are not being fully exploited here).
If you love old school rock n’ roll, classic Americana and a little bit of alternative zaniness wrapped up into a single package, this group might be your right source for musical charm in 2021. “Delaware Cornfields” and “Creaky Crooked Woman” couldn’t be any more different on paper, but when played together they showcase the multidimensionality of talented players very much in perfect synchronicity with one another. Theirs is a chemistry that I want to see develop even more, and right now I think it’s producing some of the more credible indie content you’re going to hear before the arrival of the new spring.
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