By Barry Gilbert
St. Louis Post-Dispatch


November 10, 2005

With Rex Hobart & the Misery Boys

9 p.m. Nov. 11, 2005, at Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa Street. $8. 314-351-5711.

You have to love a band that names itself after a line from the Coen Brothers' movie "Raising Arizona." Add to that its bloodlines -- Danny Black was the leader of the Blacks, Laurie Stirratt was a member of Blue Mountain -- and you've got serious alt-country cred, except that this is not an alt-country band. They can't eliminate the twang, but it's coming from the garage. HWB is a stripped-down trio with singer-songwriter Black on guitars, Stirratt on bass and Ryan Juravic on drums. Their self-titled debut CD is a three-chord workout, but the subject matter is mostly about love gone wrong -- way wrong. Must have something to do with the fact that both Black and Stirratt worked with their soon-to-be exes in their previous bands. Ouch. Their music bristles with melancholy and anger, from "Soul" ("love's a disaster I know it's after my soul") to "Look You in the Eyes" ("let's just see if it's you or me who/stops drinking taking drugs and dies"). But hope and redemption are not beyond reach, thanks to a cover of Bill Monroe's "With Body and Soul" and Black's affirmative "Home" ("I love you in the morning I love you in the afternoon").