The name AuntEaters seems apt for a punk band — so when this Pueblo-based quartet opens Marionette with the Ennio Morricone-tinged instrumental "Rabbit Ears Pass," fit for the opening credits of a spaghetti Western, it's a little disorienting. But once the disc kicks into gear on the second track with the high-voltage alt-country of "Since You Left," the band's name begins to make more sense. Throwing equal parts dusty twang and rock into music they dub "hoarse Western," the AuntEaters pump more than enough energy into most of the songs and even steer pretty damn close to punk on tunes like "Severe Corneal Abrasion" and "Thrown Out in the Rain." At times, singer Jim Valentine's throaty delivery recalls Lucero's Ben Nichols, and any fan of the Memphis-based alt-country act might lean toward the AuntEaters as well.
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