Faith Healer (Bring Me Down)
Label: Ferret Music
Claims of Southern swamp-boogie in these Alabama boys' genes were always overstated, but on their fourth album, they dive head-first into contemporary radio-rock anonymity. A few cuts do open with some smoky semblance of barbecue-pit riffing, and the intro of "Taking on Water" even cops rustic Skynyrd licks. But as soon as Dallas Taylor starts busting his gut and baring his aching heart, any scorch inevitably dissolves into an aggregate of post-grunge, pop-punk, Christian rock and screamo. Tentative echoes of '80s Aerosmith in "Killing Me Slow" and "Cat's Walk" are as grooving as this gets.