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Album Review: Tumbledown - Empty Bottle

Genres are an interesting thing; they are used to sort, compartmentalize, and compare all types of media. These comparisons assist consumers when making new music choices or deciding what new movie to go see. Most artists work inside them, but when artists cross the boundaries genres set forth, they occasionally give us albums like Tumbledown’s ‘Empty Bottle’.

Tumbledown’s Myspace page lists the band as "sounding like" country-punk-rockabilly, and that’s a fitting label. This sound is roughly broken down into 60% country, 20% punk and 20% rockabilly influences. This sound may be a shock for some fans, considering that it’s coming from a pop-punk pioneer such as Herrera, and these fans may be turned off by it. If listeners give it a shot, though, they’ll be pleasantly surprised.

‘Empty Bottle’ has typical themes for a country album, with alcohol, regrets, being lonely, and problems with the police being the bulk of the content of the record. What makes the album interesting is the blurring of the country and punk genres. Tracks like “Places In This Town”, “Meet The Devil”, “Arrested In El Paso Blues”, and “St. Peter” blend the punk sound with country undertones and melodies perfectly. “Great Big World” attempts to be as good as the above mentioned songs, but just comes off as mediocre.

The other tracks on ‘Empty Bottle’ lean more toward being completely country songs, and while some of them are just as good as the punk/country tracks, others misfire. “She’s In Texas, (And I’m Insane)” and “Empty Bottle” are perfect country tracks that sound like they could have come out of the pages of Johnny Cash’s or Merle Haggard’s notebook. “A Thousand More Times” is a somber track about giving up drinking that just sounds tired, and “Dead Man Walking” is a guitar driven tune that lacks the drive to pull the listener back in after the great middle portion of the album.

‘Empty Bottle’ isn’t as empty as the title would suggest. It is at least half full of really great punk/country tunes. Fans of Mike Herrera’s music that are open-minded should definitely check this project out.


‘Empty Bottle’ by Tumbledown is released October 26th through End Sounds Records.

Official Website
Tumbledown on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

Landon Peterson

Alter The Press!