Album Review :
Why They Came - Led by the Unqualified to Do the Unnecessary

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Artist: Why They Came
Album: Led by the Unqualified to Do the Unnecessary
Label: Bad Apple Records
Release Date: January 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Coming from Owensboro, Kentucky, home of the International Bluegrass Music Museum, one may form certain preconceptions about Why They Came. This preconceptions are, fortunately, misconceptions. AnDrew Mikel leads this band on guitars and vocals, while Andrew S. Barnett plays drums and sings backing vocals, and together they make Why They Came, who have just released Led by the Unqualified to Do the Unnecessary, their debut through Bad Apple Records.

Upon reading the title, I was expecting to find some political tones to this album, but that turned out not to be the case. These ten songs deal with a wide range of topics, but one of those topics is not politics, which I’m sure many listeners will appreciate. However, while politics is not an issue, it is not because Why They Came are afraid to offend. This CD openly sings against a preacher who cheats on his wife (“The Wonderful Preacher Man”), an ex-girlfriend who is now sleeping around (“Girl in Town”),and  the negative effects of pornography in the struggle for purity (“Rabbits”). All of the songs remain in a comfortable mid-tempo, some being a little slow, and some being upbeat. The lead vocals are soft and smooth without much range, which leaves the album feeling a little repetitive and boring, but it sure beats certain other artists who try to sing outside of their ranges, cover it up with Pro Tools, and pay for it in the end by being a huge disappointment live. The lyrics are bold and deal with many culturally relevant issues, but often find themselves in the realm of mediocrity.

Actually, the cover art is one of the best things about Led by the Unqualified to Do the Unnecessary. The graphics look like they’ve been sewn in cool patterns, including the name Why They Came. As for the music itself, despite its shortcomings, this release features a few standout tracks and Why They Came shows potential for the future. This is not something I would currently choose to listen to, but if this two piece were to expand by picking up an actual bass player and a second guitarist, their sound could fill out rather nicely.

5/10

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