Issue May 27, 2009

Blue Bluer Bluest

The Flying Saucers
Self-released

The Flying Saucers may sound like your dad’s garage band, but age clearly doesn’t equal schlock for these bluesy beer-swillers. The Louisville quintet’s first album, Blue Bluer Bluest, has plenty of smoky guitar licks and lyrics of blue-collar woe, all couched in a down-home, welcoming sensibility. That isn’t to say that their style doesn’t get old; songs like “Love Burns” trudge along without much energy, and “Long Time Comin” — eerily similar to Bob Dylan’s “Things Have Changed” — is derivative and lifeless. But when these guys hit a high point, they know how to run with it. “Small Town Blues,” sporting chunky guitar licks and a tale of small-town sadness, is such a high point, as is “Tan Ya’s Blues,” a sweet Southern romance told through the perfect balance of jangly guitar and lovelorn strings. Imagine hearing these guys in a smoky dive with a beer in your hand, and you understand the vibe.