Pick Me Up, the second album from Truth & Salvage Co., is filled with gritty rockers, breezy country and hints of bluegrass and folk.
It's a daunting goal, but as a sextet, the band has a full sound and enough singers to pull off such a broad swipe at Americana music. The band's strength is partially in numbers, but mainly in the tight arrangements that spread equal emphasis across the talented musicians.
After a short and somber introductory song, "The Bad Times," the record kicks into gear with an energetic burst of guitars on "Silver Lining." After two more beckoning rockers, the band leads with a picked mandolin into the album's most memorable song, "Appalachian Hilltop," a harmony-laden ode to the country, acknowledging the hard times and "praying diamonds come from coal."
Next up is a raucous and joyful cover of Joe South's 1968 hit (and subsequent standard), "Games People Play," and "I'm Not Your Boyfriend," a high and lonesome ballad in the "It ain't me" vein. The beer-joint blend of country, blues and rock continues on the album's second half, and the band plays with plenty of verve and soul to excuse a couple of B sides that snuck onto the final album.
Generally more rocking and a little less reliant on twang and vocal harmonies than Truth & Salvage Co.'s 2010 self-titled debut (produced by Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes), Pick Me Up is a well-executed album that capitalizes on the band's promise and skill.
Truth & Salvage Co. perform with Laches at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. $10 advance, $12 day of; 18+. 622-8848; hotelcongress.com/club.