Band of Heathens should have collapsed under the weight of its own talent. Led by three singers and three songwriters, the Austinites do it all, sometimes more than they should. The band tackles Little Feat boogies, Neil Young (or is that Bottle Rockets?) guitar blasts, Elvis-inspired gospel passion, Allman Brothers slide skirmishes and punch-drunk, Black Crowes Southern rock. Even when the material on last year's One Foot in the Ether feels forced — sin and salvation may be eternal themes, but they need refreshing — the Heathens' Zenlike honky-tonk blues never do. As convincing as that record may be, the band built its reputation as Austin's answer to the Band on its live show. This St. Louis date is as welcome as it is rare.
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