Sure, we all know that a Waco Brothers' show is a boozy, sweaty, and loud affirmation of all that is good and righteous in the realm of the rock and the roll. They play as if their lives depended on it.
What often gets lost in the steamy, sozzled aftermath of shows is that, over the course of the past decade, the Wacos have produced a body of work that is consistently innovative and wildly entertaining, loud and literate, personal and political. Few bands can so fearlessly embrace such a broad range of influences, throw them into the Waco-izer, and emerge with fresh ways to gleefully and despondently tell it like it is--the warts, the injustice, and the crushed dreams--without batting an eye or spilling a drop.
With a sound that cannot be categorized (why is it back in the day Neil Young could throw some lap steel at you or the Stones could cop some fiddle action and it all got called rock?), and a public so inured by the tepid slop flooding the airwaves, New Deal may still need a miracle to change the world. More than anyone, though, the Wacos realize that in a world where we have so little power, so small a voice against the forces of homogenization and corportate malfeasance, sometimes the only thing you can control is to make sure you catch the eye of the bartender before last call is over. Who says you can't whistle on the way to the gallows?
"The Wacos hammer out populist anthems for a blue collar world of dwindling wages and dead-end possibilities. They have been turning politics into party music for years--no small trick in a strangely apathetic era--and now their message and music are more necessary than ever." Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune
"The Waco Brothers are as dependable as any act in rock when it comes to delivering the goods. Every album is full of songs loosely divided into two categories: those about drinking and lonliness, and those about murder and politics. New Deal is no exception, and every song is a toe-tapper to boot." Stephen Haag, The Hartford Courant
"[New Deal] finds the loose and ragged band in high spirits, with guitars and pedal steel a-blazing on some of their best songs yet. Sometimes the Wacos suggest a horseback-borne Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones." Buzz McClain, The Washington Post
"Though they certainly have honky-tonk in their hearts, the bleeding spine of the Wacos' sound makes them the Joe Strummer tribute band we did not know we would need so soon. If the Clash were the 'only band that mattered,' the Wacos sometimes seem the only band to recall what that matter was--furious scrutiny, not just a guitar sound and a snarl." Carl Wilson, The Globe and Mail