From their adopted, boom-town home of Austin, TX, The Bellfuries are constantly within earshot of the latest catchphrase. New brands are always within their peripheral view.
Well and good, vocalist and chief songwriter Joey Simeone says. “But we’re a rock and roll band. People are obsessed with categories, sub-genres. We check into a hotel, and the guy or girl behind the desk asks what kind of music we play. ‘Rock and roll.’ Then they ask what I mean by that. Well…
“…Let’s see. There’s elements of country music, rhythm and blues. There’s some improvisation on stage that I guess you could say is jazz-inspired. Throw in some gospel…plenty of melodies coming out of older pop tunes. That adds up to rock and roll, last time I checked. If we’re not re-inventing the wheel, I’d rather get to work than worry about renaming it.”
Simeone takes a no-nonsense, workingman’s line, and Workingman’s Bellfuries, (available 8/21 from Hi-Style Records) holds that line firm. No doubt, the armchair taxonomist will find plenty of variety. Lead track and single “Loving Arms,” is foot-stomping rockabilly-pop, a la Hamburg-era John Lennon. “Bad Seed Sown” brings finger-popping jive from the Dion school. “Make the Mystery No More” is Phil Spector 2.0, with some Everly Brothers harmony sitting at the top. And “Why Do You Haunt Me” is a shimmering track that suggests nothing so much as Elvis Presley’s operatic pop approach of the 1960s.