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Efren has returned from a 9 month hiatus with a bigger, rowdier, louder band. Joining Scott Low and Jonathan Brill, is the former Bareknuckle Band rhythm section of Mike Strickland on the drums and Clint Swords on the bass. A new sound but still the same bourbon induced rock.
While all the rocks have been turned hundreds of times and the melodies have become inverted to a fray, music still creates the freedom, expression and escape that makes our world continue to search for innovation. From a man who originally came to town to play jazz guitar, Scott Low quit it all for the song.
Write A New Song, the newest album from Efren is equal parts rock, americana, folk, country, and psychedelic. After producing three previous independent bedroom records (Thunder and Moan, Always Been a Bleeder, and Rise on Up and Melt) a new electric sound has come. The band went into the classic southern studio of Full Moon Studios in Watkinsville, GA. Following a sudden marital split and with a dozen songs written to release the energy of the present and past, Efren created a whiskey drenched, bar floor stomping record.
With a gruff voice and thick guitars, the band has pulled from local heroes the Drive-by Truckers, Drivin’ and Cryin’, Dead Confederate, and Futurebirds, along with the southern chorus’ of Lucero and Lambchop. The title track ‘Write a New Song’ brings a thick chorus sung with the help of Athens darling Betsy Franck and Jonathan Brill. “Who you find in your oceans may never be what you expect, Mama said I’m attracted to the hard times.”
“Been living like I’m in a country song, lost and lonely way too far gone.” A year beyond a sudden divorce Scott Low donned a big red electric guitar and wrote to the angst and hurt, then decided to turn it up and feel the music physically, even harder. “If my heart don’t fail me then this whiskey probably will….” indulges in the southern rock “jam” again joined by Betsy Franck and a thick organ provided by Scotty Nicholson (Soul Miner’s Daughter, Barefoot Hookers, Dangfly). “Live for the lovers in all these towns…” Townes van Zandt, Willie, Johnny, and Dylan echo in and out of the verses, tied with grunge and indie strings.
With no plans to slow down, Efren will find new bars, stages, and songs to record. Scott, Jonathan, Mike and Clint, feel like they have just begun to find their sound. The family changes, new love, growing children, bourbon nights and country sights all fuel the band to new sonic levels that leave their live shows the stuff of legend. These songs are the result of those legendary four hour shows. Whether they’re pushing to get the ears and hearts of a room or the speakers in a truck out in Madison County, Efren bring it with Write A New Song.
"These part folk, part psychedelic jazz, pinch of bluesy rock, dash of country twang songs are the songs that fill the night sky around a bonfire in Autumn. They are the songs you hum as you clear away empty whiskey bottles and cigarette butts from the low-key gathering of friends you hosted on your porch last night. They are the songs that play when you remember that perfect first date that eventually lead to the worst breakup of your life, fond and fragile." The Silver Tongue Online by NNelms
“Broken hearts, hard liquor, and the determination to progress populate Efren’s latest release, Write a New Song. Propelled by the fantastic songwriting of Scott Low, Efren have created a record that can feasibly be held up alongside one of Drive-By Trucker’s or Lucero’s high points. Efren share a lot in common with both of those bands and when they’re on the mark (as they are for all of Write a New Song) they’re just as good. There’s some classic soul influence when Efren get really expansive that continuously breathes even more life into this record. Yet, that still doesn’t detract or even overshadow Write s New Song‘s most traditional moments, like the excellent “Old Mountain Road”. Where their strength truly lies, however, is in cranked-up classic crunch mode which is never more forceful than on “The Last 40 Days”. Keep both eyes out for this band, they’re ready to kill.”- popmatters.com by Steven Spoerl
"...shimmering, invigorating folk with psych overtones. Well worth a few minutes of your time." - Mad Mackerel
“Cowpie mushroom and whiskey rock with twangitude, Efren bring a great variety of sounds into a cohesive mixture of smack me upside the head southern rock music.” - Popatunes.com