On his second album‚ Lowell Thompson mines deeply veins scarcely uncovered in his country flavored first effort. Backed by Crown Pilot‚ Thompson expresses tight‚ tough American roots rock that nods at the work of Steve Earle‚ Dave Alvin‚ and Cracker. Some might argue that it's not the time for this kind of music‚ but give a listen‚ and if you don't thrill at the sweet spot Thompson and company have found‚ step to the front of the line and turn in your rock and roll ears. The band locks on from the opening of "Last Girl‚" with an aggressive yet sublime attack fronted by Thompson's no-nonsense lyrics and rough-but-right vocals. The album's range runs from Last Girl's crunch to the Petty-esque balladry of "The Love You Had‚" the warm jangle of "Green Doors‚" and the regret-tinged "Julianne‚ Wait‚" perhaps the disc's standout. This isn't the kind of work that pushes any individual effort to the fore; the guitar work on "Pictures" delivers the kind of spot-on‚ no-frills sting that puts taste before ego. That said‚ it might be nice to see the band stretch out a bit‚ to ease up on the reins and see what might happen if they drop the constraint just a notch. Of course‚ that's what live shows are for‚ and this album will undoubtedly compel new fans to check out the band live. Timely or not‚ Thompson and Crown Pilot are making music that's worth a listen.