After 4 singles, spanning from last year to now, teasing Coleman Williams and his band’s debut album, it’s finally here. IV and The Strange Band’s first record, Southern Circus, was released on June 17th. In case you haven’t put the pieces together yet, IV is the next one up in the Williams family bloodline. Even as the great-grandson of Hank Sr., grandson of Hank Jr., and son of Hank III, Coleman Williams definitely stands on his own. He carries his own unique style without the crutch of his family heritage, but at the same time he pays homage to it.
Southern Circus is much less any ol’ collection of music, but more of a trip. Through song, it’s a trip to the deepest, darkest parts of America – a trip to both Heaven and Hell and everywhere in between. While that is up to interpretation and mainly a personal take, it’s unarguable that IV composed a stellar debut that will hit people of every taste.
There are bites of Americana included among the track-list with tunes like “Train” and “Cigarette Ends,” not to mention the soulful bluegrass styled “Stand Your Ground.” What makes Southern Circus stand out, along with the band itself, are the occasional rock/punk infused songs. Perhaps the best tracks on the record are “Son of Sin,” “Inbred” and “Deep Down,” which take this gloomy – and almost haunting – approach.
All of that being said, this is an essential album you need to listen to this year if you are looking for something alternative underneath the country music album. IV and The Strange Band came out swinging with this debut and it builds a lot of confidence for their future releases.