The Dirty Guv'nahs third studio album, "Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies," was released on August 14.
Still rootsy and still rocking, the band has managed to polish their sound into something that has potential for mass appeal and could expand beyond their Southeast influence.
The album opens with "Can You Feel It" on which the verses stay catchy and poppy, leading into an anthem chorus that suits lead singer James Trimble's throaty voice well. It's the kind of song familiar fans would come to expect.
However, contrast the album's opener with "3000 Miles" and you can hear a stretch towards a more modern, edgier sound in the filtered guitar work.
Although they may not appear on every song, the band's horn parts on titles such as "Good Luck Charm" have really picked up a more prominent role than on their last album, "Youth is In Our Blood." Developing this element really showcases the band's soul influence with a shining, tiny pride.
Despite all the shiny newness, The Dirty Guv'nahs stay true to their sound. Songs like "Fairlane" throw country licks over ringing organ tones to produce a somber but honest love song, balancing out the catchy, guitar-oriented songs like "Don't Give Up On Me" and "Honey You".
On "Lead Kindly Light," slow, quiet vocals and acoustic guitar build into a powerful rock ballad that confronts the fears and anxieties of finding what we are looking for and accepting where the truth takes us.
"Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies," as the title implies, presents themes of searching, wandering and love amongst a southern-rock soundscap, and the album reflects how The Dirty Guv'nahs experiment with new sounds and musical formulas.
The band is currently promoting their new album on tour. The band thanked fans for their support by holding a huge release party in Market Square on August 17. The Guvs shared the stage with Nashville's Moon Taxi and Knoxville's own Black Cadillacs for the festivities.
Fans should keep an eye out for some more widespread attention from these guys in future. Knoxville's music scene has produced some rock bands before such as the Royal Bangs that have garnered national attention. As The Dirty Guv'nahs continue to tour and develop as a band, it will be evident whether or not they are made of the right stuff.