The reigning winner of CP's Best Of Pittsburgh reader's poll in the "Alt-Folk/Alt-Country Band" category, The Armadillos last hit us with new music about two years ago; this full-length comes with a new label association, with now-officially-sprawling Wild Kindness Records. It's 11 tracks of old-timey folk such as has become The Armadillos' signature; much of it is light-hearted and clever writing, but at times the band takes on bigger political and social issues.
The Armadillos have proven themselves a formidable live act over the years, and Nevertheless is at its best when that energy is captured: "House on a Hill" is one of the highlights, an upbeat track that features sweet harmonies. Similarly, the minor-key anthem "Big Branch Mine," quick-paced but dark in its theme, is representative of the band's cohesion and pep
The political theme that starts with the first track, "Times New Roman," and emerges now and then throughout, is largely working-class, highlighting the plights of teachers, miners, musicians and others through a common thread of being overworked and underpaid. (The political tune "FDR" might seem to fit this theme as well, but really, it's mostly about how he brought back alcohol, which is another major theme herein.)
More good stuff from The Armadillos following the idiom of old American folk; it may not be innovative, exactly, but it's sweet and satisfying, with enjoyable wordplay throughout.