Buffalo Nickel songwriter and singer Gary Stier may look a like a rougher-hewn older brother to the Wallflowers' Jakob Dylan, but his similarly rootsy approach to the rock craft runs far deeper. "Long Play 33 1/3" is a remarkable album of churning heart-pop, cut largely from the cloth of such '80s gems as Lone Justice's "Shelter" and David & David's "Boomtown," while still ringing with the same modern urgency that fuels Wilco's and The Jayhawks' ambitious paeans.
The legendary Danny Kortchmar produces a set that ranges from the rumbling hammond push off of "This Ain't Nowhere" ("Even if you choose to go nowhere/ It's a whole lot better than this") to the full country slide of "Stayed" ("The one's you should believe/ you make them bleed") without ever becoming repetitive -- or too reverent. It's nice to know they still make them this strong. And this honest.