The Bottle Rockets 

Zoysia

Many bands revel in their roots, but few amble as close to the heartland as the Missouri-based Bottle Rockets. Their no-frills approach is tough and tenacious, reflecting an underdog attitude that tends to downplay resignation in favor of an occasional upward glance. Zoysia, their eighth studio set, provides the ideal showcase for their sharpened songwriting skills. The bandmates eschew any sense of reverence or pretense in deference to their redneck, white-bread, blue-collar sensibilities. The untarnished view of small-town Middle America detailed in the title track shows the music for what it is — a homegrown sound that's seeded from circumstance.

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