Band of Heathens is technically from Austin, but the band comes off like it might have spent a great deal of time in New Orleans learning the rich mixture of sounds that mark that city's eclectic scene. In moments, this outfit is reminiscent of the Band circa the early '70s. The Heathens' take on rootsy American music is not an attempt to create a warped country music; rather, they tastefully incorporate blues and folk without really trying to be the Grateful Dead. If anything, the group doesn't seem concerned with having a stripped-down sound or emulating the glories of its heroes. Not unlike Big Star, these guys are writing rock and roll rooted in music indigenous to the middle South. Surprisingly soulful, the Heathens may be polished, but there's nothing artificial about their sound.