This album takes me to the limits of my musical reference points. I guess you could say it is Americana in the most literal sense; taking inspiration not only from country but also roots-rock, folk, gospel, and bluegrass, with a big dollop of dirty blues.
When I slipped the CD into the slot and “The End” wrapped itself around my unsuspecting brain, I immediately thought of Dr. John but then the second tune “Ain’t No Love” kind of spun me around with a slightly Roger Waters vibe to it. Their distinctive roots-oriented sound lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw but packages it in a way that even glunk philistines like me can latch on to.
Upbeat stompers “Mountain Song” and “Feast of Snakes” nestle perfectly with the slower southern slide guitar led of “Louisiana”, while Rob barks like a Saint Bernard on the heart string pulling “Shipwrecked” making Tom Waits sound like a sweet choir boy in the process.
At a stretch, for simple folk like me, the penultimate track “In The City”, makes me think of Tyla at his most down and dirty, draining the last drop from a bottle of acid-tainted whiskey.
I’ll leave you with a word to the wise, this is simply the album that Whiskeytown should have made to follow “Strangers Almanac” and one of the best albums I’ve heard so far this year.