A veteran band’s “back to basics” record is often more a miss than a hit. But the Old 97’s tenth album, Most Messed Up, manages to recapture the electric energy of the Dallas band’s early days. The 97’s built their reputation on their live shows, which shift from twangy punk rock to revved-up country with ease. These sets always seem to have one foot off the rails, earning the 97’s comparisons to the Replacements.
It’s fitting, then, that the Mats’ bassist Tommy Stinson shows up on Most Messed Up, but it’s the rest of the band that truly dials into the songs. Frontman Rhett Miller is ornery and often hilarious (sample track titles include “This Is The Ballad” and “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive”), and the 97’s don’t sound so much refreshed as confident again. The band stopped by our Studio 1A for a fiery live performance and got straight to the point–download “Let’ Get Drunk And Get It On” below!