If you like the sound of loose, jangly guitars and earnest vocals then What Can’t Be Said might be for you. There’s a sloppy rock and roll vibe throughout this album that Replacements fans will find familiar but not derivative. The influences are all over the map, and most of the songs do not fit into the “alt-country” straightjacket that Low Rent will probably get forced into by lazy listeners who don’t get past the hoedown shuffle of opener “Maybe You’re Right.”
Recorded by Brendan Fitzpatrick, who had formerly sung and played bass with Low Rent until leaving the band to join Clem Snide, What Can’t Be Said has a kind of “basement” sound that’s becoming harder to find in this glossy, digital era. “No Laughing Matter” (mp3) is a sad, slow song that builds to an emotional climax. A highlight is the poppy “They Say We’re the Same” (mp3) with great lyrics like “I think about killing you most every night.” And there’s plenty more where that came from. At times, Low Rent approaches the fragility of Souled American, but they’ve got their own thing going on; and whatever it is, it’s something good.
Low Rent is playing their cd release party on June 18 at Gunther Murphy’s in Chicago. Lots of mp3s are available on their site.