Austin, Texas act, Josh Allen and The Whisky Brothers, are back with a heartfelt new single; Keep It in the Ground! We’ve been taking a listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.
Keep It In The Ground is a catchy blues rock/ rock and roll track that will get under your skin. Written from the perspective of a concerned parent, the song is set in a post Trump, post COVID time in world of global warming and selfishness.
Keep It In The Ground has an interesting little intro section with the sound of oil rigs working away (hey – our ears aren’t that good; we got that from the great video that goes with the song!). This is a protest type song from a weary parent pleading for a better life for their children.
Keep It In The Ground has a great groove to it. The lyric line “Keep It In The Ground” is regularly repeated throughout the song, making it feel comfortable and something that will stick in your head for hours, perhaps days later. We all found ourselves mouthing along as the song progressed. The familiar feeling chord sequence helps to make the listener feel at home while they listen which helps you to focus further in on that all important lyrical message.
Vocally, a little like Tom Petty or Mike Scott (Waterboys) but the whole song also has a bit of a Violent Femmes groove to it. We like the way the song develops. The addition of children singing the “Keep It In The Ground” line is a nice touch. It felt a little Pink Floyd – The Wall, but also made it clear that the message of the song was for these children and their future.
The electric guitar solo has a great tone to it, and the repeated melody and note choices, like the repeated lyric, all serve to draw in the listener. It’s a song you can both drift off to because of the melody and chords, and listen intently at the same time because of the subject matter.
The stinger ending is a nice touch. It feels almost prophetic. This is not a song to just fade off into the distance.
From a production perspective, Keep It In The Ground is a little quiet compared to commercial releases of the same style. We’d suggest some compressions to get more volume out of the overall track. There’s a little rumble in the track below 35Hz which most home hi-fi can’t handle so it may be best to filter this out in future to give more head room to the rest of the track. A couple of times, the bass and kick occupy the same frequency and cause the 50-60Hz range to peak. A tiny cut in the 400-500 and a boost of the top octave would be our other suggestions. The top octave boost will add some more air to the acoustic guitar and some shimmer to the ride.
Keep It In The Ground has an important message, a great groove and an accessible feel to it. An important listen for any parent or future decision makers. We’re very excited to hear the rest of the forthcoming EP, Still Alive, from Josh Allen and The Whisky Brothers, due out this summer.