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Friday, 14 June 2013 18:58

Charting the Music: The Baptist Generals, 'Jackleg Devotional to the Heart'

Charting the Music: The Baptist Generals, 'Jackleg Devotional to the Heart' Scogin Mayo
Written by Lauren Kellett
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As album titles go, "Jackleg Devotional to the Heart" may not be as insincere and jury rigged as you'd initially believe.

Love through the Baptist Generals' lead singer and songwriter Chris Flemmons' eyes is a mix of carefully placed feedback, intricate lyrics, acoustic-folk roots and a constantly fluctuating vibe that come together to form a bare-it-all sophomore album 10 years in the making.

88.1 KDHX chart position: #10 Adult Album Alternative and #8 CMJ Top 30 for June 4, 2013.

Record label, release date, producer: "Jackleg Devotional to the Heart" was released on Sub Pop on May 21, 2013 and was produced by Stuart Sikes (Modest Mouse, the White Stripes) and the Baptist Generals' Jason Reimer.

Can be heard on: The Space Parlour with Nick Acquisto, Wax Lyrical with Caron and Rocket 88 with Darren Snow

RIYL: The warbling vocals of Jeff Mangum, the Mountain Goats with a little more twanger (twangy anger), Crazy Horse

Hometown: Denton, Texas

Standout tracks: "Dog That Bit You" is the most accessible, like-at-first-listen track, with lead singer Chris Flemmons howling of scorned love over fuzzed-out folk-guitar riffs and melodic horns. Surprising instrumentation and a healthy dose of feedback power the soothing "Turnunders and Overpasses," while the intricately composed intro of "Broken Glass" sets the listener up for what may be the album's best track, exploding into an energetic ode to "false starts."

About the band: Originally named the Poor Bastard Sons, Flemmons and drummer Steven Hill formed their lo-fi folk-indie group in Denton, Texas during the late '90s. After releasing their first full-length "No Silver/No Gold" on Sub Pop with bassist Jeff Helland in 2003, Flemmons dedicated much of his time to creating the Denton 35 festival, an annual four-day concert spotlighting local artists alongside national touring acts.

This label: Sub Pop Records is celebrating its 25th year in the business with a free festival, featuring the Baptist Generals and 15 other Sub Pop artists. The Silver Jubilee will take place Saturday, July 13, 2013 in Seattle's historic Georgetown neighborhood.

Play it while: Building a cigar box guitar to debut at your next gig that you know your ex will be attending to prove to him/her that you're just as cool, if not cooler, without them.

Did you know?: "Jackleg Devotional to the Heart" was originally recorded in 2005, but Flemmons ended up trashing almost everything because, as he said in a Sub Pop interview, "it sounded like any other indie rock-type band."

What the critics say: "'With Jackleg Devotional to the Heart,' Flemmons has written a love letter to a powerful muscle, appreciating the mechanics of the aortas, ventricles, and veins, and expressing that emotion through the tones of the variety of instruments as well as the lyrics and melodies. The hope is that he found love in the process of writing and recording enough that the next devotional won't require another 10 years to complete." Chad Gorn, Treblezine

Playing in St. Louis: The band will be in St. Louis at the Old Rock House on Thursday, June 20 with the Mountain Goats, a show welcomed by KDHX.

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