New Ben Franklins

Before releasing an EP last year, New Ben Franklins frontman Dave DeVoe said his ultimate goal was to sound like the Catherine Wheel playing Johnny Cash songs. He admitted it was impossible to do, but it was a great goal to have. While somehow fusing shoegaze and country is a noble aim, DeVoe and company steer down more of a country route on the latest five-song EP, Miserable (slated for release this Friday, March 11 at the hi-dive). The opening title cut is honky-tonk through and through, a la Gram Parsons, and there's also the gritty reworking of Willie Nelson's "Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning." And it's "Tommyknockers," a tune DeVoe originally wrote for the industrial band Fiction 8, that has a spaghetti-Western feel and a bit of shoegaze guitar sprinkled over the top.

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