Zach Boddicker, who plays pedal steel in Drag the River, covers similar alt-country ground with his own project, 4H Royalty. The subtle differences between Drag and 4H, in which Boddicker sings and plays electric guitarist, become more pronounced the more you listen. Veering from twangy power pop to sultry Southern rock, 4H's debut packs a lot of more twists and tangents into its seemingly simple songs. Granted, some of Boddicker's lyrics don't stray far from Drag territory, but even while celebrating such country-punk tropes, he invests them with a wordy wittiness that feels straight out of the Hold Steady's songbook. Colossalalia operates within a pretty tight framework — but Boddicker and crew manage to cram a lot of warmth, virtuosic licks, and even originality into the formula without tipping the whole thing over.
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January 14, 2010 | 4:00am|