Fried Goat ©2023. All Rights Reserved

left to right

Ruskin Yeargain: bass, vocals

Westy Bowen: vocals, goatar

Deke Wiggins: lead goatar, vocals

Brian Heinbaugh: vocals, goatar, mandolin

Brian Brittingham: drums
Fried Goat's third offering is its most tender yet, but still well spiced.

It's Southern rock with more pop than you'd expect, particularly if you've never tried Goat. It is a country song wrapped in rock and roll.

The album runs 16 songs, including two covers, and closes with a slowed-down version of a Bruce Springsteen closer. It includes perhaps the dirtiest guitar work in the band's catalog via "Rest Again," the story of an amputated soldier that builds, slowly, into a driving solo that evokes both anger and release.

That track stands out, as does "Long Goodbye," functionally the album's title track, its heart and one of the world's few odes to Augusta, Georgia.

This is a happier album than the band's past efforts, though the band retains its edge. It charts new territory, but there are songs here Fried Goat fans will find familiar.

If resignation is an all-too-Southern trait, this record moves beyond it, into the more optimistic Southern tradition of being happy where you are.

- Travis Fain