Ken Layne and the Corvids | Fought Down

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Rock: Americana Rock: Roots Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Fought Down

by Ken Layne and the Corvids

Real good. This is raw-edged, ramshackle alt-country with a busted taillight. "Worried" is one of the catchiest singles I've heard this year, a perfect selection to play on the you-just-got-jilted-jukebox. - Tony Peyser, Santa Monica Mirror
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ain't They Pretty
3:15 $0.79
2. Fought Down
3:25 $0.79
3. I Should Be That Guy
6:15 $0.79
4. The Sun Don't Shine
3:58 $0.79
5. Mama, Take Another Stand
5:10 $0.79
6. Lincoln Town Car
3:51 $0.79
7. Here's To You
3:21 $0.79
8. Worried
2:50 $0.79
9. Glitter On
2:57 $0.79
10. Like A Train
3:49 $0.79
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Ken Layne and the Corvids' debut - "Fought Down" (Scrub Jay, 3 stars) - is alt-country with a strong straight rock influence, resembling Son Volt without the mannered touches or the more laid-back moments of Drive-By Truckers. The highlights - "Like a Train" and the title track - suggest a post-punk update of the Stones' early '70s honky-tonk rock moments. Layne's singing voice is in that rough hewn alt-style, not a perfect-pitch experience but not deliberately loose, and emotional enough to compete with the ringing guitars. Similarly, Layne's lyrics are basic but effective: When he gets more abstract on "Glitter On" and "Mama, Take Another Stand," it shows yet another side he and the Corvids can explore as they continue.

- Mark Earnest
Reno Gazette Journal

With grit and swagger, not unlike the Rolling Stones of the early '70s, Ken Layne & The Corvids play great rock 'n' roll. Glen Reynolds of says it best, "It sounds the way Exile On Main Street would sound if it were recorded in the 21st Century, by guys who weren't already millionaires but who really liked to sing and play." Layne's whiskey soaked voice is kept warm by a blanket of crunchy guitar, and slightly drawled by the Southern-rock vibe that fuels these songs about hard livin' and drinkin'. "Lincoln Town Car" plows a dark trail that reflects the opening lyric - "I was run down, sad, drunk" - to a tee. The closing line of the same song says a lot about the rest of this solid collection, "I'm wasted out my head." This is hard honky-tonk for the punk rocker in you. (Scrub Jay Records)

- Miles of Music

So, how is Fought Down? Real good. This is raw-edged, ramshackle alt-country with a busted taillight. "Worried" is one of the catchiest singles I've heard this year, a perfect selection to play on the you-just-got-jilted-jukebox.

- Tony Peyser
Santa Monica Mirror

If you hunger for real rock 'n' roll -- the kind of music that practically smells of stale beer and leather jackets and overfilled ashtrays, the sort of songs that sound best while rolling down the highway with the windows down -- then Ken Layne & the Corvids more than fit the bill.

- Jim Trageser
North County Times (San Diego)

A few of the adjectives that come to mind: boozy, dirty, gritty, smoky, drunken, achy, freewheeling, debaucherous, earthy, irreverent, gutsy, fuck-all, trashy, swaggering, and -- frankly -- literate. If there's one thing that'll win me over at first listen, it's an album that strives for unpretentious, no-bullshit, cousin-kissing, straight-ahead rock n' roll. This one does. Although, Fought Down's probably just as at home in the "country" corner of Best Buy as the "pop and rock" section, but that's probably more an indictment of Best Buy and modern "pop and rock" than of Fought Down. Layne's got a helluva voice. Little bit Todd Snider. Little bit outlaw country (think Merle, Waylon, George). Little bit Steve Earle. And little bit Mick Jagger.

- Radley Balko
The Agitator

Messy old-fashioned roots rock. "Ain't They Pretty" vibrates and tremolos like a muffled whip crack in an arroyo whereas "Fought Down" is like riding pillion on the back of an old Norton; you hold on for dear life during the twists and turns of the guitar solo. His voice is like a sleep filled eye; it cracks and sticks, sleepily attacking on "Mama, Take Another Stand" behind layers of feedback and Southern Rock aesthetic (cross-pollinated with "Exile on Main Street").

- Americana UK

Ken Layne and the Corvids (which means crows) have a gorgeous new album out, called Fought Down. It is luxurious and nocturnal electrified country rock that somehow has its heart in Eastern Europe. Or part of it, anyway. Nothing to do with the sound; just the spirit. The guitars may come from Manchester via Austin; the rest is floating somewhere over the desert, at night, in a Santa Ana wind, just before the Big One hits.

- Kate Sullivan
Rock journalist / author

There's some grit and reality to this record which I never saw in my 10 or so trips to the Los Angeles area, which leads me to believe there's some kind of secret roots rock society there, where you can eat fatty foods, smoke cigarettes, and actually listen to the band on stage, rather than posing yourself to get laid by someone higher on 'the ladder' than you. Go West young man.

- Jack Sparks, The Other Side of Country
WMGT Minneapolis

* * *

Ken Layne and his mysterious band the Corvids have rarely performed in public. Yet their 2004 release, "Fought Down," has all the energy and emotion of a crystal-clear recording of a perfect concert. (In fact, the record was made in three long nights at a vintage recording studio in Pasadena, California. The band performed live in a single room, and what you hear is what was played.)

Only his third official release in 15 years of writing and performing music, "Fought Down" is a drastic departure from the lo-fi drum-machine-powered country folk of his 2002 release, the solo "Analog Bootlegs" and a far cry from the unfortunate '80s production on his "roots rock" debut with The Outriders in 1988.



to write a review

Chris C

I never listen this kind of music, but always be there a good first time
I never listen rock country, but now, i have to change my mind

pino italy

Good rock and roll
We take two guitarist(Axel Steuerwal,and Matt Welch),one rhythmic section(Steve Coulter drums and Jeff Solomon bass),and dulcis in fundo one vocalist(great Ken Layne) with a voice adapdet to the scope,we stir all and of a lot comes outside a roots-rock electrical example work much intersting.It's only rock and roll,but is much good and above all with honesty.
Thanks in order to have given 40 minutes of healty and solid
rock and roll.

Paul Palubicki

It's good, clean American music that's got a good beat and will make you happy.
The best thing I can say about it is that I genuinely enjoy listening to it. It's not grating, sonically dissonant or crappy. It's not one of those records where you sit there, squinting in pain with flopsweat on your forehead, rocking back and forth and chanting to yourself, "It sounds like crap, so it must be good. It sounds like crap, so it must be good. It sounds like crap, so it must be good." If it sounded like shit, I'd tell you. I believe the artist should suffer for their music, not the listener.

If you're into "I Hate My Daddy" music, then this isn't for you. It's big-boy music. There are songs on this CD that elevate your soul. "Glitter On" is one of them and it's followed by "Like a Train," which is a damn-good rock song with a driving guitar track. That song fucking rocks and is worth the price of the CD alone. I've listened to it about 15 times now and haven't got tired of it yet.

I usually detest comparing groups or records to more well-known acts, but since it seems to be the norm in review writing, I guess I'll give it a shot. The record reels you in with a deceptive hook. You're listening to it and thinking, "Hey, it's the Eagles, except they've kicked out Glenn Frey and replaced him with a Mick Jagger whose balls have dropped," yet a distinctive and cool sound gradually emerges that's both amazingly original and slightly evocative of other acts. It delves into chicken-wire country in a few places, but instead of detracting from the overall feel of the record, it adds a layer of depth and grit that gives the album a nice gut-punch. After listening to the CD and reflecting on it, I was left with the impression of a driving, dark undercurrent to a "Hey, whaddya gonna do?" sensibility.

So, buy the damned thing, already. These aren't a bunch of rich bastards cranking out a concept-album or shatting a record for the teeny-bopper set. It's good, clean, American music that's got a good beat and will make you happy.

Shannon Okey,

Not what I expected... it's even better!
This CD makes me want a cigarette and a beer. A cigarette, and a beer, and a great big party full of 4:00 a.m. half-drunk people who will sway from both pleasure and necessity. I was a little worried about the 'alt-country' tag, but I figured anything with Ken & Matt on it couldn't be half-bad. My expectations were blown away. I love this CD, and I'm having a tough time picking a favorite song! Give me a six-pack and a little time...I'll get back to you.

It's like that old SNL skit: I loved it. It was better than 'Cats.' I want to listen to it again and again...


Only 3 days and this music'll be stuck in your head.
I dunno if it's Layne's rich voice with its sandpaper edge or the raucous guitars, but this CD keeps playing in my head when I walk away from it. Twice today I caught myself humming the songs in public, especially Lincoln Town Car and Here's To You, although The Sun Don't Shine is the prettiest song about losers I've ever heard, and I love the guitars and drumwork on Mama, Take Another Stand. There isn't a weak song on this CD.

Max Donnelly

Rock solid country rock. Get it. Play it.
Right off the bat I have to confess, I know every dirty bird in this band...That might be why I can candidly say this is a stunning, great album. It's stunning because the secret is, 40 percent of this band consists of filthy writers, guys who pound computer keyboards all day, get drunk and pass around beat up guitars and howl and sneer and roar at night (and in the wee hours of the morning). Well, after 15 or more years of that, you just get pretty damn good, I guess. The album is worth having just as proof that a great album doesn't take $1 million worth of studio time and the music industry's imprimatur.

Granted, the Corvids have a rhythm section to die for, borrowed from Hollywood's hottest rock band, Tsar (speaking of great an entirely different genre). And they've got a restrained but keen, rangy but focused lead guitar from another pro. But this is NOT a 60% good album. This is a 97% great album.

Layne's voice has the mellow depths of Johnny Cash and the lilt and sneer of Mick or Chris Robinson. Damn him. Welch hits his harmonies and punctuates with percussive acoustic guitar. It's about time.

If you like The Stones circa 1971, The Black Crowes, Wilco, a touch of Neil Young, even a dash of old Bryan Adams, you'll love this album.


Bad tunes, if you don't like a good time.
This is a bad album. Bad for anyone who likes voices smooth as a baby's bottom. Bad for anyone who doesn't dream. Bad for anyone who doesn't love the Stone's Some Girls, the idea for which Jagger stole from Layne in an LA bar in 1992. Bad for those who hate music that tells stories... "did you know i slept in her bed, you were off in dublin, i'm an honest man, i did nothing you weren't with her in the morning she was perfect, same girl you ignore, you came home mad about something, you don't matter anymore." Bad for folks who don't mix their drinks or music... whiskey, country, beer, rock & redneck, gin & roll, oak-barrel-aged grunge. Bad for folks who don't want to hear The Who sing Mel Tillis. Bad for people who don't like a good time. Because, as the first song says, "you're in for a good time, drop on by now, don't be crying, the people are friendly, just wait and see all your drinks are free, you're in for a good time..." Bad bad bad.