Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Waco Brothers: Cowboy in Flames [Bloodshot, 1997]
Buck and Ringo notwithstanding, country music doesn't come naturally--not to city slickers, or city neoprimitivists either, especially Brits. So of course transplanted Chicagoan Jon Langford grasps it more palpably now than he did in 1985. And if this can't very well make us forget Fear and Whiskey, at least now we know the W. Bros.' debut was only a run-through. "White Lightning" and "Big River" will obviously impress anyone innocent of Jones and Cash. But Langford's remakes add a last-chance soul both songs put to use, and eventually, many of the originals surpass them. Leaving a radical postcountry record that begins in a "suburb of Babylon" and ends snorting the ground-up bones of "the Jones and the Ca-ashizz." A-