North Carolina’s Old Quarter is a country band giving in to the basic musician desire to play things very loudly. The five-song Gone, Not Forgotten opens with slide guitar, acoustic finger-picking, and baritone vocals that all scream “country!” But by halfway through “Gone,” a crunchy electric guitar forcefully announces its presence. “Starlight” also toes the line between crunchy riffs and country vibes, letting the dusky, perhaps even ominous, mood be enhanced by the gritty guitar work.
Closer “Kerosene,” however, amps up the rock’n’roll elements, playing out more like a psych-rock track with some rolling folk vibes than an alt-country tune. It’s no wonder the band has picked “cosmic country” as their genre of choice; they definitely start with country and rocket off in other directions. But it never feels like dabbling; the chiming, building guitars in “Kerosene” make it a great track, no matter who’s writing it or what genre they’re from. Sometimes an over-adherence to generic constraints causes us to overlook things we’d otherwise love. Here’s to some adventure in your life: check out Old Quarter’s Gone, Not Forgotten.