Graham Reid | | <1 min read
More so than their previous releases, this band from the Pacific Northwest seem to ladle in dollops of trippy glam-adelica in the opening overs of this thoroughly enjoyable outing. It's as if a thinking person's band from the late Sixties or mid Seventies has beamed down into the post-grunge pop world (or vice-versa) of Portland and whatever the images and angst in the lyrics are wrapped in psychedelic pop, blasts of glam riffery, prog-rock progressions, pastoral interludes, power pop and folk-rock.
But typically, that impression is constantly subverted by a band which has an impressive record collection and knows how to deploy it in their own music.
Acoustic folk of the pre-rock Dylan pokes through on the murder narrative The Man Who Would Speak True; hints of Mott the Hoople emerge in Love and Hate; Heaven and Earth is a dramatic prog-folk ballad with a throbbing string section; The Tree is acoustic Anglo-folk in an American accent; the augmented pop-rock ballads Lover Leave me Drowning and Sadie sound like they could have come off McCartney's Ram . . .
Previously reference points might have been Dylan, the Dead, Neil Young and Wilco (on their Black River Killer), but there are more than enough Beatles, Posies, prog references here for this to be another new branch off the highway for them.
So a very mixed bag, sort of pick'n'mix Blitzen Trapper where you pays your money and takes your chance.
Possible to love some of it with a passion and pass on other parts.