There is a certain devil-may-care attitude about The Devil Makes Three that is hard to ignore. Whether it is the way the band blasts through lively bluegrass numbers like its instruments are about to explode, or the way lyrics casually glorify a lifestyle that gives little thought to the future, the trio tends to fly by the seat of its pants. On TDMT's latest album, I'm a Stranger Here (October 2013, New West), this trend continues. The results are an album that's a tad stale by the end, but which is certainly likable.
The country-tinged bluegrass opener "Stranger" is a stomper of a track and a perfect intro to the rest of this record.
But the album is not all fun and games. "Forty Days" marries a downtrodden ragtime sensibility with philosophical lyrics, and on the fiddle-led country number "Dead Body Moving," it's hard to miss the message about people plodding on despite already being--for all intents and purposes--dead.
Toss in the weary, banjo-plucking blues of "A Moment's Rest," and you see that the album has some depth to it, even if such moments are not meant to form the crux of the effort.
I'm a Stranger Here, on the whole, is pretty solid. The band lets the good times roll for the majority of the record, and while the groovy, lively tone--filled almost to the brim with ragtime numbers, and bluegrass/country hybrids--does get a little too familiar by the end, the band fills the record with enough sarcasm and unexpected introspection to pick up the slack.