The Hopper's Weasel motto is: 'Beer- and whiskey-addled, dominatrix-paddled'. But it's the crossed pistols on their sought-after beerverage coozies, one a Colt-style Western revolver and the other a ray-emitting futuristic space weapon, which sums it all up. They're an American-bred mixture of the old with the newer, of the traditional with the brazenly groundbreaking, and of multiple musical styles and elements. And no one blends the flavor of Alternative Country music together with air-movin', Guitar-Driven Rock like the feisty mammal that is: Hopper's Weasel. Co-fronted by identical twin vocalists Paul A. (guitar) and Carl N. (bass) Dowds, and held steady by drummer L. Ron Sterba, the trio has already established itself as an underground North Carolina favorite. Now with their self-titled debut disc just finished, they're currently bursting out of the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill club scene with a distinctive and layered brand of hi-octane, insurgent-country-flavored rock, while keeping the thoughtful in their audience entranced with lyrics displaying subtle perspective. Hopper's Weasel is a force of nature, friends. And about all this, the three members of the band will agree. But try pigeonholing them or their music too narrowly, or pin it down at all, and you might see fur fly, even within the band. 'We're basically a Rock band, but we're wearing cowboy shirts and spurs because it just feels really good. I mean, Paul and I grew up in north central Texas, but we were suckled by the tit of album oriented rock the whole time, and for that I'm eternally thankful and proud', says Carl, whilst pointing to crate after crate of well-worn vinyl LPs. But this view of things isn't unanimous 'That's bullshit, man. We're about playing deceptively complex country music, just with electric guitars and tube amps', counters Paul, aptly standing next to a tapestry of John Wayne which adorns a spot on the wall of their living-room-turned-rehearsal-space. Drummer L. Ron Sterba just smiles from behind his kit and tries to stay out of the middle of the brothers' arguments. 'I think those two are at their best when they fight about stuff, but I get nervous if they've been drinking more than I have when they do get into it', the time-keeper stoically opines. The band went into the studio after playing club dates that allowed them to hone their mix of blues-based progressive rock tunes with numbers highlighting sweet and plaintive Piedmont vocals. The Hopper's Weasel album paints a panoramic view of storm-tested hearts and passion-filled minds, hued from a diverse palette. Fans garnered by the band's strong live performances and by the straightforward emotion of songs describing lives and loves that got complicated already agree that this long-anticipated work was well worth the wait. Serpentinely melodic as they coil their songs around your throat, exuding a firm tenderness that brandishes a warm serrate edge, and too versatile to be adequately labeled by any one song they've durably crafted, Hopper's Weasel is hungry to prove to the rest of the animal kingdom that their strong blending of simple Country appeal, with a solid American Rock feel, has resulted in a fine and fit specimen supercharged with hybrid vigor. Grab it if you can: Hopper's Weasel.
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