Fans’ prayers have finally been answered: Five years after the last Pistol Annies album, Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley have finally reconvened for their third studio release. But even if Interstate Gospel may seem heaven-sent to the faithful, be forewarned: The ladies don’t raise quite as much hell this time around. But they still play by their own rules. To wit:
Thou Shalt Honour Thy Sisters: For the first time, all the songs (except one) were co-written by all three members. And while Lambert quite expectedly handles the bulk of the lead vocals, the others get their fair share of star time. Way to do unto others, ladies.
Thou Shalt Kick Up They Heels Occasionally: Got My Name Changed Back is a thumpy little roots-rocker about divorce with some kitschy close harmonies. Sugar Daddy gets down to a funky blues groove and some stinging guitar work. The title cut rouses the holy spirit. And Commissary stretches out with some spacey cosmic country psychedelia. Who says spirituality always has to be serious?
Thou Shalt Play Nice: Overall, however, the vibe here is mellower, gentler and more wistful than before, with the tough-chick swagger and girl-power honky-tonk of their first two albums giving way to a slate of sincere roots ballads about hard luck and hard times.
Thou Shalt Stop, Drop and Roll One: Let’s face it: All that playing nice and doing unto others gets old pretty fast.