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“Inside All the Depressing Implications of the Free Press Article on the Michigan Rattlers”

The Michigan Rattlers are a definitely commendable duo of Adam Reed and Graham Young (which seems to just collectively between the two of them handle whatever singing or picking task needs set in place) not so much making as wailing out this astonishingly crude brand of folk rock. They made waves in 2016 when Rolling Stone included them on a “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” list (whereas again, they’re definitely not country, at least no more than Wilco and Son Volt are) [1].
The problem is, they haven’t even really, ya know, DONE anything since, but this July 2017 Free Press article decrees titularly “Move to LA Paying off for Michigan Rattlers.” The RS blurb came on the strength of an LP which totals five songs and 15 minutes. Even today, in winter 2018, we’re sitting here with no output by the band other than this self-titled mini-LP, a three-song EP and a live album which also includes a grand total of three songs.
From the way it sounds in the interview, the band is working day jobs out in LA, obviously facing some pretty steep costs of living. According to Rolling Stone [2], Michigan Rattlers was produced by Megadeth and 3 Doors Down producer Johnny K, but this is hardly the type of orchestral art rock we’re talking about here that requires studio wizardry — in fact, it’s more than likely that there’s a sound man back in Petoskey who could have easily acted as engineer for this thing.
In looking at the history of these two guys, you see that they were sort of sodden with restlessness, an urge to leave home and explore other places (they’ve also each within their youths lived in Chicago and Ohio, respectively). Now, two plus years into their musical careers, excepting invitations to the 2017 AmericanaFest (referred to somewhat piously by the Free Press as the “high-profile AmericanaFest” and this year’s Bonnaroo), what we have as a definition of their existence as artists are a clear disdain for the thought of residing in their own hometown of Petoskey, as well as other nearby cities such as Chicago, Grand Rapids, Michigan or South Bend, Indiana, and this sort of dark, opaque struggle of working jobs and lacking the means to record, or, perhaps even more hauntingly, actually channel any inspiration whatsoever.
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[1] The influence thereof becomes even more obvious when you come across the band’s album opener “Illinois Sky,” which could even be a paean to Wilco’s album cover to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
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[2] https://www.rollingstone.com/country/lists/10-new-country-artists-you-need-to-know-september-2016-w438056/michigan-rattlers-w438078.

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