Canadian cosmic-country punks The Sadies always look as though they've just crawled out of a booze-soaked funeral parlor -- they're unkempt, draped in wrinkled black suits, and usually stink of bourbon. All of the above are components of their disheveled charm, and one of the reasons why they're alt-country's favorite guns for hire, backing everybody from Jon Langford and Neko Case to Andre Williams and (so it's said) former Whiskeytowners Ryan Adams and Caitlin Cary. They've stepped out on their own several times, but none of their previous outings have captured their wide swing tremolo as brilliantly as Favourite Colours
. Imagine a troupe of gloomy cow-punks careening down a thundering Hawaiian pipeline and you've got a bead on their wildly divergent sound.
Ever the maverick souls, they float through their paces in a haze, touching upon everything from celestial country ("Translucent Sparrow") to swingback surf soul ("The Curdled Journey") and riotous punk rooted in the rotting stench of Americana ("Only You and Your Eyes"). A few famous pals drop in to lend their talents, most notably the irrepressible Robyn Hitchcock, who yarbles through "Why Would Anybody Live Here?", and the Good brothers' parents, Bruce and Margaret, who give "A Burning Snowman" some wicked Autoharp and good vibes. However, even that mighty company fades into the backdrop when The Sadies let loose and get ripped on a groove, as they do here to near-perfection.