The Clintons emulate that kind of CMT/GAC pop country narrative that bands like Big & Rich and Sugarland brandish with fervid pride. We’re not talking here about SUV worship or God-slathered, more-patriotic-than-thou crap, just the sort of beer-soaked, good times themes that, say, Alan Jackson sings about in “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere.”
The Bozeman band’s fifth album is teeming with made-for-video party tunes like “Party (you know we’re there)” and girl odes such as “LMP” (as in, “Little Miss Perfect”), where the chorus includes the line, “lookin’ good girl, damn you’re lookin’ good,” which perfectly illustrates the album’s innocuous tone. Songs range from breezy R&B ballads a la John Mayer, to funkified country hoedowns like “Grant Wants to be a Pirate.”
Despite being drained of any real cynicism, angst or tension, Not Fighters is a spanking crisp album. Hate it or love it, truth is, The Clintons have best-seller potential when it comes to punch lines, pop hooks, prairie twang and nasal harmonies. What rounds out the album, talent aside, is that they make it seem easy, and even as a recording it still feels live. (Erika Fredrickson)
The Clintons play The Other Side Friday, Jan. 25, at 10 PM. $8.