We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

A hypertwang aesthetic guides BR5-49 as it challenges the formulas marketed on Nashville’s Music Row. The band members bypass “new country,” taking their direction from the honky-tonk and hard country music of their parents’ (sometimes almost their grandparents’) generation. Following the success of the band’s debut EP, Live From Robert’s, the new album suggests that BR5-49’s raw energy and excitement can be captured in the studio as well as in its marathon live performances. The band covers material from artists frequently featured on WAMU’s The Eddie Stubbs Show, including Moon Mullican’s “Cherokee Boogie” and Webb Pierce’s “I Ain’t Never.” Vintage country standards such as “Honky Tonk Song” and “Crazy Arms” inform originals by BR5-49 vocalist/guitarists Chuck Mead and Gary Bennett, who contribute six of the record’s 11 tracks, while their post-punk sensibilities shape their interpretations of both contemporary and traditional country tunes. Smilin’ Jay McDowell’s upright bass and “Hawk” Shaw Wilson’s drums drive the band, while Don Herron adds textures with fiddle, mandolin, Dobro, and a whole lot of lap steel. “Little Ramona (Gone Hillbilly Nuts)” and “One Long Saturday Night” will appeal to listeners who approach this music from a WHFS perspective, while “Lifetime to Prove” and “Are You Gettin’ Tired of Me” will find favor with members of WAMU’s weekend audience. If you’re not ashamed to sing along to choruses of “hey-ho-a-lina,” buy this album and take a road trip to Nashville to Robert’s Western World, where BR5-49 plays for tips, and cans of Pabst are only $1.—Matt Watson