You’d be hard-pressed to find a musician in Milwaukee who works harder than Myles Coyne. The Riverwest troubadour plays in local staples US Male, Animals In Human Attire, Temple and, recently, was brought on to accompany The Fatty Acids live shows. He organized 21-band punk convergence Breadfest and hosts touring bands in a bind or between cities at underground shows. He even has a side business hanging concert flyers around town. Of the myriad of projects Coyne is involved with, only one — Myles Coyne & The Rusty Nickel Band — actually bears his namesake.
With considerable traction already beneath his ever-moving feet, Coyne’s pet project brings forth a lighthearted and upbeat debut album with Take Things As They Come. So-so starter “My Grandmother’s House” gives way to uplifting “Max” and its “Well that’s life / And we’ve only got one” chorus, no doubt a personal mantra of the motivated and infectiously positive front man.
The meandering effort is anchored by its middle songs, like title track “Take Things As They Come,” which takes a sharp turn from stripped down acoustic number to punkabilly jam session (complete with Coyne’s voice-breaking screams) by song’s end. Similarly, fourth song “I’m Not Gonna Let Go Of You (This Time)” evolves from gentle guitar strumming along with the pristine and thankfully repeated harmonies of Coyne and Caley Conway to radio-ready chorus chants in under four minutes.
The record has its blemishes — the questionable vocals and verses of “Windy City” and “Don’t Tell Me” among them — but those rare (arguable) missteps no doubt derive from Coyne’s genuine and flowery take to songwriting and life, thrust to the surface of the majority of the 10-song effort. Coyne’s inherent positivity, combined with catchy-raspy melodies, brilliant harmonies, accentuated by a dab of harmonica and banjo coalesce to make this first Rusty Nickel deposit a fine addition to Coyne’s already bursting catalog.
Myles Coyne & The Rusty Nickel Band plays its Milwaukee release show at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn on Saturday with Calliope and Faux Fir. The show begins at 9 p.m. and costs $10 (includes Take Things As They Come LP).