Fort Worth Weekly “Going to Townies” by Jimmy Fowler
Fort Worth Weekly | February 29, 2012
The skinny about Townies, the new CD by North Texas indie rock stalwarts Exit 380, seems to be that this quartet –– led by founders and songwriting partners Dustin Blocker and Aaron Borden –– has shed its alt-rock power chords to jump on the Americana bandwagon. That’s true in a certain sense but also incomplete –– the full story is that singer-keyboardist Blocker, guitarist-banjoist Borden, bassist Jon Hutchison, and percussionist Jeremy Hutchison have applied the intensity they learned from their harder rocking days to 11 folk-rock tunes laced with organ, harmonica, and mandolin and have given the new “softer” sound real muscle and conviction.
The rootsy sonic touches that distinguish Townies, produced and mixed by Blocker and Borden, are gorgeous, restrained, and never kitschy … ( read more )
Read the entire review HERE at The Fort Worth Weekly.
Dallas Observer “Eleven Hundred Spring and Exit 380” by Darryl Smyers
Dallas Observer | February 2, 2012
…Exit 380, on the other hand, come to roots music from the rock end of the spectrum. Townies, the band’s fifth full-length, continues the Americana vibe first suggested on 2008’s The Life and Death of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Stone. Prior to that, Exit 380 were content conjuring up moody rock songs that would have fit well on albums by Stone Temple Pilots or Alice in Chains. What’s still surprising is how well singer Dustin Blocker‘s pipes sound so perfectly placed within the context of country songs like “Run for the Gold” and “Daddy Was a Freight Train.”
What both Eleven Hundred Springs and Exit 380 share is a commitment to the true soul of country music — what Steve Earle calls real music. And while neither band looks like your conventional country act, both understand the tradition and spirit that make up true Americana. It’s all about honesty and lack of pretense.
Dallas Morning News “Spotlight on Texas Artists” by Mario Tarradell.
Fort Worth Weekly “Exit 380 to Bugs’ Benefit” by Anthony Mariani
D Magazine “Take Five: Local Songs for Your Week” by Hunter Hauk