Langhorne Slim | Engine EP (V2)

engineIf this EP is any indication, there should only be better things to come from Slim, a 26-year-old Pennsylvanian spawned from a time that no longer exists, pulling Dylan, moonshine, and sepia photos from under his dandy suit.

 

 

Holy porkpie hats, Langhorne (if that is your real name), but I can't wait for the full-length album promised on the back of your Engine EP. You can lead the hootin' and scootin', and I'll just sit back and lean forward at the same time. A ferocious young man—yet quite the old soul—you tug on a few Beefheart-strings, but all the while you're shaving a few copper fibers off of yours.

All right, that's enough on the gushing, but I just got stabbed by a corncob pipe, right in the Langhorne. A lot bit country, a lot more rock 'n' roll, Langhorne Slim mixes a Delta yelp with a, may I say, Damien Rice sensitivity and tone. On "English Tea," Slim claims, "The liquor over here's stronger/ I can't stay very much longer/ I don't know where I belong/ But child, it ain't in your arms." There's no doubt that every effort Slim makes is a little bit stronger than most, and his lyrics indicate a restless adventurer, sweeping the backwoods, but taking time to sit on the front porch and send out a whinny to all the ladies called "honey, child, darlin' or mama." It's this old-timey nature that resonates through each song on Slim's EP, where even the mopers have a sort of simple honesty that keeps them from sounding the least bit wimpy. Slim makes you feel the nature of rocky times in your gullet, urging his audience to gargle some whiskey, be right by those you love, and relish the good.

On the promising closer of the Engine EP, "Sweet Olive Tree," Slim sings directly to the listener, offering advice and telling ageless stories. This is where the heart of his music truly lies, in a world where values permeate the day or place, where Langhorne Slim draws the pictures and we all take it for what it's worth. He sings, "There was a gal in New Orleeens/ She could be sweet, but my friend, she could be mean/ Really with her, there was very little in-between/ She kissed gentleman's lips beneath the sweet olive trees." In Slim's world, everything is what it is; there's love and there's sorrow, and it's hard to argue with the fact that Slim will be what he is, for better or worse.

If this EP is any indication, there should only be better things to come from Slim, a 26-year-old Pennsylvanian spawned from a time that no longer exists, pulling Dylan, moonshine, and sepia photos from under his dandy suit. My only concern is that he seems to have temporarily abandoned his banjo for straight up acoustic and electric guitars. What gives, Slim? It's really no bother, though. The songs are all thick, meaningful, and seeping with truth, regardless of what strings are being plucked. Look out for a full album in early 2007. It'll be worth a look, and most likely another step forward for Slim. B (for brevity) | Dave Jasmon

RIYL: Lucero, Two Gallants, and hey, even Hank Williams

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