Punk and country collide in Trainwreck

It’s weird what comes out of San Francisco.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, I guess. Any place that can boast Jefferson Airplane and the Dead Kennedys, Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz has its variations. So then what to make of Trainwreck Riders?

They were a country band, Americana-folksy, country ballads and all, and now they write ’80s punk songs? It is quite a leap to be sure, but I was intrigued, especially when I learned they were headed to Athens for a visit next week.

Their new album ‘The Perch’ is a nice collection of rollicking tunes, splashed with some accordians and the country tinge they do enjoy. I found the single ‘Safety of a Back’ to be one helluva tune, all over the place yet somehow coming together in a nice cohesive package. It’s in right contrast to ‘Chug Along’ which, well, chugs along at a languorous pace.

I’ve seen several label the band as cowpunk, and maybe that’s apt (if you’re into labels). Me, I find them refreshing and willing to take chances, swapping styles per song like switching guitars between sets.