With the release of this record in 1990, Uncle Tupelo introduce themselves to the world, tipping their collective hats to generations of country musicians before them (the title track "No Depression" is a faithful cover of the A.P. Carter classic), while embracing their own punk/hardcore influences. This record, their debut, launched more than simply their own career - by fusing the simplicity and honesty of country music with the bracing noise and rage of punk, Uncle Tupelo kick-started a revolution which is still reverberating throughout the American underground. Gram Parsons had spoken of places such as these, but Uncle Tupelo put alt.country on the map, effectively creating a new genre. This is thus a landmark recording.
In terms of music, this album is far 'harsher' than anything else Uncle Tupelo have done. But for harsher you should read punkier. Although this record is heavily influenced by The Replacements and Husker Du, these guys somehow manage to never let you forget that this *is* country music that you are listening to. And sure enough adding colour to the white noise you hear the mandolins, the fiddles and the banjos.
Mostly the songs are about working hard... for nothing, drinking... for no reason, living... only because you are alive; but occasionally you sense that these songs will take you to a better place. And they do.
This record is essential listening for any alt.country music fan, for the uninitiated "Still Feel Gone" is probably a safer bet. But out here where we're all friends ... what have you got to lose?
Standout cuts include: "No Depression", "Screen Door", "Factory Belt", "Whiskey Bottle," "Before I Break".