[sic] Magazine

Bobby Vacant and the Worn – Virginia Neon

Opening like Adam Ant (‘Dog Eat Dog’, honest) it soon becomes evident that, in fact, this is a truly great Country Rock album. By complete chance I’d just listened to Johnny Cash American IV and several tracks here wouldn’t be out of place. ‘When You Burned My Eyes’ reminds me of (ex Kingston Trio ) John Stewart , a beautiful story of longing.

‘Run’ is a shit-kicker albeit one that is redolent of ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ – though thankfully lyrically not musically. ‘St. Peter’s Island’ visits a porch that could easily be shared with Josh T. Pearson , showing the way of devoted love. ‘Snow in April’ bubbles with, almost subconscious at first, synth giving way to fiddle, cutting a line like Leonard Cohen’s ‘Dress Rehearsal Rag’.

Despite the Country Rock label I’m applying the use of instruments is inspiring; from sax on ‘Without You’ to little synth noises on ‘Nobody’s There’ (which sounds like it could be Australian, somewhere near the Go-Betweens or – more recently – Cloud Control ). Among these tracks is acoustic stuff that may more commonly conjure up ‘Country’ – the whole is satisfyingly rounded. It all adds up to an album that works perfectly within the framework it sets up for itself. The fact it was recorded in Switzerland suggests a prophet shunned in his own land.