With clear-cut single “Thank God for Jack Daniels,” Sullins positions himself somewhere between Stoney LaRue and Eric Church, executing the whiskey tribute with all the subtlety — and admitted fun — of a Michael Bay film after a charming, vintage-Western introduction.
He leads into that some good-ol’-boy politicking in the blistering, if familiar “Straight to Hell.” Sullins makes a 180 in “Paris” and “Only Girl,” showing that he can do dreamy country ballads with the best of them, subsequently launching into the classic-rock anthem “Full Throttle,” which bleeds away like the protagonist riding his hog off into the sunset.
Yes, Sullins is more than satisfactory at all the cornerstones of Red Dirt and country, but he really excels when he steps off that platform into more woolly territory, like he does in the closing pair of “Dance with the Gypsys” and “Oklahoma Moon.” While the big anthems are more immediately accessible (like “Jack Daniels”), tracks like this find him excelling artistically in a far more rewarding way.
Regardless, Incommunicado is a well-produced good time, one well worth the hangover. —Joshua Boydston