Carquinez Straits

Humiliation Jacket

Something about Carquinez Straits’ music makes you want to roll down the windows and take an afternoon drive on a road less traveled—jangly guitars, forlorn pedal steel and dusty vocals create an aural wheat field bordered by a cracked street. To put it simply, the band quells any listener’s fear of alternative country’s demise with Humiliation Jacket. The Sacramento rockers’ third album takes a smoother approach, while keeping the same rollicking, head-bopping beats. Singer Jed Brewer, of Chico’s Harvester, crafts catchy songs like “Victory Snicker,” which features a Revolutionary War-era drum beat provide by Paul Takushi (also from the Lookyloos and formerly of Chance the Gardener) before building into a full-on Southern-rock anthem. Songs like “Harlequin Davidson” take a softer approach, with Brewer harmonizing about a Harley-Davidson rider who “stunk of sweat and alcohol” yet “in his heart he [is] romantic.” The disc has only 10 songs, so the listener will likely need to hit repeat for the drive home. Not such a bad thing.