It’s true, and cliché, to call a band like Backyard Tire Fire guitar heroes. And with all the nasty licks and six-string thunder on their newest album, The Places We Lived, it’s difficult to resist from noting this. But this impressive piece of work is more than a heap of broken guitar strings, it’s rather a complete presentation built on solid songs, brief harmony, and homespun musicianship, and it shines.
The group from Bloomington, Illinois knows how to rock – you’ll want to blast “Welcome to the Factory” and “How the Hell Did You Get Back Here?” till that crack in your windshield dances from corner to corner. But you’ll also want to pay attention to the details that keep revealing themselves on tunes like “The Places We Lived,” “Shoulda Shut It,” and “Everybody’s Down.” Because for a band that could probably do a killer version of “Free Bird,” I wouldn’t exactly call their music derivative – BTF’s tires are too busy blazing new trails that should last more than 30,000 miles.