John McGrath | Kicktrial(Get Out of Town Production)
After a click of sticks, this five-song EP rips open with John McGrath’s roots-rock voice, straight out of Central Casting—and it works. “Inertia” is a song meant to explode onstage and it certainly does on disc, especially when spiked with utility infielder and recording engineer Andy Stack’s slashing steel—and, really, is there any other word for it? Powered by the Restless Age’s rhythm section du jour, drummer Lee Falco and bassist Brandon Morrison, Kicktrial offers many moods in its few minutes, with Margaret Vetare’s gossamer vocals providing contrast to McGrath’s gruffness. In addition to its album cover-worthy title, “Last Night’s Jesus” sounds like a long-lost outtake from forgotten Aussie rockers Died Pretty and the mellow, session-closing “Kissing the Clovers” is a perfect comedown from “Inertia’s” opening blast, while “In a Fight with the Tired Years” is as Hudson Valley as it gets.