If Athens, Georgia and Austin, Texas had a drunken love affair it might sound something like The Casting Couch. The band’s self-described indie rock meets alt-country sound is reminiscent of bands like Wilco and The Jayhawks, and The Sixth Great Lake, an Elephant 6 band who also married the indie pop sound with country and folk. ‘The Roof’ starts the record and reminds me a bit of the Gram Parsons classic ‘Sin City’. There’s the similar slow tempo and drawn-sounding vocals as well as an accordion and sweet-sounding bells that sound like hints of some of the band members’ E6 connections. The similarly styled ‘Flying Machine’ also blends the group’s country and pop influences and matches them with honest and inviting female vocals. ‘Copper Girl’ is more upbeat and seems more suitable for college radio, while ‘Easy to Fall’ is a lazy piano-driven piece that’s not as interesting and runs a little too long. My favorite tracks is the closing ‘Whiskey Skiffle’, a honky tonk lament about a broken relationship, that manages to be simultaneously funny and depressing. Complete with a group sing-a-long chorus, it would serve as a nice soundtrack to taking shots to drown your sorrow or for nursing a hangover the following morning. There are a few dull moments on this EP that might not make it perfect, but overall The Casting Couch would fit nicely in your alt-country collection.
-Valerie C. 7/2/05