The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde is about to unveil new music from her band's first album in six years, and it may surprise longtime fans of the group's punk-fueled rock sound to learn that 'Break up the Concrete' has moved Hynde into country territory. As it happens, the shift shocks no one more that Hynde herself.

"I've avoided country music all my life," says the 56-year-old who has been living in England for the last 35 years, but has been spending more time lately in her hometown of Akron, Ohio. She quips that the geographical change has "perverted my sense of musicality," and adds, "It is odd though, isn't it, the way that country music and rock is such a separate industry here. It's nice to think we might f--- it up a little bit, and that they might not know where to play our records."

In addition to the rockabilly-flavored title track and the group's traditional post-punk take on 'Don't Cut Your Hair,' the album boasts the country-tinged ballads 'Don't Lose Faith In Me' and 'Love's a Mystery.'

Due October 7, the group's first studio album since 2002's 'Loose Screw' is also the first for indie label Shangri-La Music. Hynde, the only constant in the band's 30-year run, recorded it in Los Angeles in 10 days with a new lineup. Among the players is American pedal steel player Eric Heywood, whose addition to the Pretenders has caused Hynde to jokingly predict that sales of pedal steels would soar at Christmas time.