It’s always good when a group makes it easy for reviewers. So thank you Southpaw. On “Rock This Country” the second song here, Christine Radlmann talks about having a “teacher named Waylon and a preacher named Willy” before reasoning that “this girl was born to rock this country”.

Thanks for making the review simple – and that’s before she’s listed all the female icons of country and concluded that “Lucinda flat out kicks it in the rear” (she does, to be fair).

As decent a summation as this was, there’s more going on. “Drugstore Candy” on the one hand this is modern country. On the other, it drips with lust. It’s a decent metaphor for the good-time vibes on the album it gives its name to.

There are ballads too. “Breaking Up With Broken” has got heartbreak covered. But more than that, it’s proof that Radlmann  has a truly marvelous voice.

I can’t play the guitar. To be honest I have no discernible talent at all. But if I could, then “Man With A Guitar ” proves I’d have more fun.

For all the fun and rock n roll “….Candy” is simply a fantastic record whatever it does. “Your Name” is as timeless as heartbreak itself, the fiddle and the piano is perfect.

“Whiskey And Whine” is more the album’s hinterland, though. A chorus so catchy that you’d need to vaccinate for it, and a sentiment that means you are best off heading to the clinic.

The choice of No Doubt’s “Just A Girl” punk anthem is perfect, given that I’d dare anyone to tell Southpaw they were anything and not get their head kicked in.

“Three More Hours”  is the sort of thing that makes you look out of the window in the middle of England and consider moving to Nashville. Surely it can’t be as ace as all these country songs make it seem, can it?

And anyway, whoever “Adam” is, he’s got my sympathies. I mean, I never wrote a song to impress a girl called Helen, in the early 90s…..(coughs). Poor fella, I know how he feels.

It ends with a real moment of tenderness. “Can You See Me” underlines that this record could have been anything it wanted, it just mostly wanted to be rock.

Southpaw gave me the intro and helpfully, they’ve given me the conclusion too. You see, there’s a confidence, a sass, a basic: “do not mess with me” thing going on throughout “Drugstore Candy”. And there’s a song for that. “It’s my world now,”  they offer on, well, “My World Now”  before the obvious conclusion: “and you’re just living in it”.

They’re actually not that far wrong, because on “Drugstore Candy” things are damn sweet. Even better, Southpaw are from New Jersey, and this should have people going wild in the streets…..

Rating 9/10

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