For too many, country rock is equated with either the hangdog wheezing of fringe-jacketed troubadours like Gram Parsons or the mustachioed mush of the Eagles. But to Zach Boddicker, former guitarist of Fort Collins's Drag the River, the term has way more of a shit-kicking connotation. Neon Steven is the name of Boddicker's new trio, and this introductory EP encompasses everything from the Southern-sizzled boogie of ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd to the revisionist twang of Son Volt. The sound is a bit brittle in places, and as accomplished a guitarist as Boddicker is, his flourish-heavy playing sometimes detracts from the songs instead of embellishing them. Overall, though, Neon Steven comfortably resides in a genre in which most so-called alt-country bands would be too chickenshit to spend the night -- that is, retroactive classic rock that's not afraid to flaunt a hot lick or five. Sure beats the hell out of one more half-assed cover of "Sin City."
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.