"And the ACM Award for Guitar Lick of the Year goes to ..." OK, so they don't reward loud, nasty guitar riffs that upset the neighbors when you open the windows and crank the stereo to 10. But if they did, Montgomery Gentry's 'So Called Life' would earn the duo their first major award in over a decade.

The song is evidence that Troy Gentry and Eddie Montgomery are back. 'Where I Come From' reached the Top 10, but 'So Called Life' bares teeth fans haven't seen in five years. With cut-throat guitar and organ solos towards the end and a rhythm section that grabs hold of you early on and never lets go, this song promises to provide one of the louder slots on the radio this summer.

"This ain't no rodeo / No dog and pony show / Ain't no roller-coaster ride / Ain't no highway / Sure ain't no river, baby / It's just my so called / Just my so called life," the duo sings during the climactic chorus.

Lyrically, Montgomery Gentry continue to appeal to the working-class country fan -- the 40 hour week, beer on Friday group -- which is to say they appeal to just about everyone. The story is somewhat lost in the heavy instrumentation, but that's not necessarily a criticism.

"Faith is a powerful thing / Chasin' after the big brass ring / Might be a pocket full of jing-a-ling / But there's one thing that I know," the pair sings to end the second verse.

The single is a perfect choice for summer's concert season. While it's doubtful they'll choose a new song for an encore, 'So Called Life' has that potential in the future should it become a hit. It's the best song on their 'Rebels on the Run' album.

4.5 Stars

Listen to Montgomery Gentry, 'So Called Life'

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