June, 2005 - "Medicine Hat is perhaps the poor man's Calexico, The Replacements
drinking whiskey, or The Magnolia Electric Company listening to pop music."
--SHUT EYE RECORDS, Atlanta, Georgia
December, 2005 - ALBUM REVIEW: Critic Genevieve Will's review of Hymns and
Curses From the Heartland appears on national webzine
"More authentic, more rockin', and definitely more deserving of a Rolling Stone cover than Britney Spears, Medicine Hat reaches back to snatch some seriously solid instrumental inspiration from multiple sources to produce an album as eye-opening as caffeine kickers on a 2am highway. Surprisingly, these Chicago boys are just as capable of Southern booty rock as slow cooked country-blues, and I don't mind saying they put Steve Earle to shame (especially after Earle's sorry last release The Revolution Starts ... Now). Certainly, Medicine Hat has rendered an environment so comfortable on their release, Hymns and Curses From the Heartland, you won't even lock your doors at night.
Unquestionably, Medicine Hat slings sounds as different from song to song as the Florida weather shifts. Hell, guitars as lulling as Mazzy Star instrumentals ("Seven Sundays") are followed by Charlie Daniels-style blues rock. Soulful vocals leave no need to fake a twang, and with back-up harmonies like those, who needs angels? With a sublimely hashed assortment of instruments - Demi Buckley, guitars, mandolin, vocals, banjo, lap steel; Ben Walker, vocals, washboard, percussion; Ryan Marzano, guitar; John DiNunzio, bass; Tara Rich, drums, percussion; and Glen Kelly, keys - Medicine Hat channels the funky side of Georgia to arrive at a heavy-hyper Black Crowes meets North Mississippi Allstars twist that they manage to keep all their own.
As a writer whose skills have been honed on telling tales Clapton-fashion, Buckley swivels from heartbroken to righteous in two teardrops time and still succeeds in penning lines like "swallow silver dollars" - simple, yet hefty with image as well as a weird detached emotion I can't place. After hearing "Saint in Tattered Clothes," I'm not convinced the band could play a bad tune if the pope commanded it. The mildly bluegrass-inclined track has lyrics more sure of themselves than Nancy Grace, in addition to instrumentation that seemingly emulates the love-child of Tom Petty and Blind Boys of Alabama - nice banjo. Check out these whiskey-swigging Northerners for a real good time."
December, 2005 - "Little Feat meets the Drive By Truckers, and out comes some serious
swamp mojo. If you've ever wanted to wrestle a gator, this is music
to do it to." -- THE CHICAGO DAILY NEWS
February, 2006 - ALBUM REVIEW: Paddy Fineran of The Racine Journal Times had
the following to say in his review of Hymns and Curses From the
"The term 'mongrel rock' was used by the band Brother to describe its music. Maybe kangaroo rock would be better for the Aussie brothers. After listening to the sophomore CD by Chicago's Medicine Hat, I'd say they're the truly adorable mutts on the scene. Their music careens wildly like a runaway semi on a slippery mountain slope, yet always pulls back into the groove at the right moment. Speaking of truck analogies, Medicine Hat's hybrid approach to making music is very much akin to that of one of my favorite acts, the Drive By Truckers. Americana, swamp, country, straight-up rock and guitar torchers all could come up at any given time in a Medicine Hat show."
February, 2006 - ALBUM REVIEW: Terrence Flamm of the Illinois Entertainer
reviews Hymns... :
"Medicine Hat rocks out with 10 country-flavored tracks on its latest release, Hymns And Curses From The Heartland. Demi Buckley is a talented guitar, banjo, mandolin, and lap steel player who composes catchy tunes. “This Town” and “I Would Pay The Devil For Your Heart” are two of the album’s toe-tapping highlights, while the extended “Green Station Shuffle” features Medicine Hat in hard rock mode."
December, 2006 - ALBUM REVIEW: Earbuzz.com offers up the first national review for the band's third album, State of the Union:
"With rock ensemble influences ranging from the Rolling Stones to the Black Crowes, Medicine Hat has released a 10-track southern blues-based rock and roll CD, dipped in confederate gravy, and called "State of the Union". The record opens with "Bible Belt" - slide and chunky present rhythm guitars lead the way as honky-tonk piano supports the laid-back vocal. The mix throughout the album is a throw-back to the 70's when vocals had a place with the band instead of in front. The result is a studio album that sounds uniquely live - which, for this kind of rock, is a good choice. Track 3, "Downtown Vampires", begins with a dark harmonic guitar part and moves into a 'hold your head up' hammond sounding organ byte. Wah guitar sparks between the vocals well. The title track, "State of the Union", is a lyrical journey that references the taking of Indian lands, blindly following the church, to the sapping of liberty in a more blue than red political tune - ' there's something we all deserve to know, this isn't a sin but it's a show. .'. Track 7, "Prayer for the Riverbed", is a nice mandolin/guitar based change of pace as the band breaks things down. The final track, "Traitors and Patriots", has a monstrous ending that leads to one of the more inventive guitar outros we've heard on any record. Well done - complete work and clearly sincere."
2009 Review of "Blood and Bone" from Wildy's World Blogspot...
"Chicago's Medicine Hat just can't stop writing and recording. Their latest release, 2008's Blood and Bone is their fourth album in under five years, and by far their most refined effort to date. Staying well within the bounds of the Classic and Southern Rock sounds they've always been steeped in, Medicine Hat attempts to provide a true 1970's era album experience. Broken into "sides" like an old school vinyl album, Medicine Hat provides both an electric and an acoustic set full on inspired songwriting and performing.
Blood And Bone opens with Take The Bait, a classic rock gem that is reminiscent of early Rolling Stones material. Take The Bait has a rough, unfinished quality to it that recalls Jagger & Richards at the top of their game. Emmett Till incorporate guitar work that would make Gary Richrath blush with glee, while Mudhen is a classic Rhythm & Blues rocker that you won't be able to get out of your head. South 55 shows off the country side of Medicine Hat, with a classic ballad that would have been entirely at home on 1970's country radio.
Twelve Lights opens the acoustic "side" of Blood And Bone with a sound that's reminiscent of Crazy Horse. Old Country Home is another classic country sounding song that probably deserves some serious commercial attention. Diary Of A Northern Soldier is a tremendous story song that you're not likely to forget any time soon. Cast as a country song, this could easily become a folk standard. Other highlights include Blood And Bone and El Dorado Suite.
Medicine Hat is not your typical, hard-working mid-western band. Lead vocalist and primary songwriter Demi Buckley is a special talent, with an ability to craft images and stories into a three-and-a-half minute country/rock song then many writers could put into a manuscript. His rough and tumble delivery combined with the incredibly tight play of Medicine Hat is just what the doctor ordered. Blood And Bone is a great album, although in some ways it may have been a better bet to split the album into two EPs. Nevertheless, you can't deny the talent here. Blood And Bone is very much a worthwhile listen."
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)
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