Barn Burners
 - Shot Down -

Shot Down is the third effort from Baltimore’s Barn Burners (their first since 2000’s Alibis) and builds on the momentum of their earlier work. While still a rock n roll record through and through, Shot Down is the Burners most musically varied disc and is filled with more hooks than Babe Winkelman’s tackle box.


The title track is a raved up rockabilly that opens the album with a jolt while Cheating to Lose is a tale of infidelity that is also sure to fill the dance floor.


Everything Was Crooked is one of many songs released this year that comments on the war, but not the war you’d expect. The World War II tale reflects on life during those tough times through the eyes of lead singer and songwriter Bob Kannenberg’s father and grandfather. “I asked my daddy why we cheated those men/he said son they’re cheating us/more than we could ever cheat them.”  The harmonica solo that closes Crooked serves as the emotional highlight of the album.


Throwing Your Life Away is the disc’s catchiest tune and is a delicious tale of malice aimed at an ex who is about to walk down the aisle.  “Are you doing this for love/are you doing it for spite/or just because the drug store was closed one night…you’re throwing your life away.”


Shot Down is a record that deserves a wider audience and is one of my favorite records of 2004.  Here’s hoping that we don’t have to wait until another four years for the next Barn Burning.




Reviewed by Steve Schmidt,