The Web site for Chicago's the Saps
gives the definition of a sap as "one who is overly sweet or sentimental." There's another meaning for the word: a double-fist hunk of leather with a lead lump inside, perfect for splitting skulls. The Saps should have gone with that one; it comes closer to describing their sound. These guys do the country-punk better than most because they don't wallow in lame pseudo-country posing. Instead, they take the emotional vulnerability and rhythms of gutbucket roadhouse tunes and juice them up with punk rawk
. Singer Dan Lastick bounces between pleading and screeching, as the songs require, and does both with aplomb. The music might not literally split your skull, but it's a whole lot stronger than "sweet."