RIYL: Beirut, Animal Collective, Akron/Family
Initially, I was offset by the lack of effort put into the art of the album. It is childish, lame and ugly<span>*</span>. But, once popped into a CD player, nothing but good sounds came from it. Led by Meric Long’s bold guitar and banjo work and pushed even further by Logan Kroeber’s urgent drumming, this duo transcends the folk scene that they can easily be dropped into. Long and Kroeber use the acoustic sound that folk comes with but throws in feverish drums and a bit of electric guitar at times. <!–more–>
The sound and style have a common theme. Each song has its arcs and crescendos but it doesn’t differ from each other. That could be a double edged sword but I cannot help but respect the bravado. It is so bold in its approach and execution. It is loud, which is not attributed to many folk songs, and it is quite up-tempo. A listener would either love it or hate it. The album can easily be listened through in a sitting and one would not think it has switched tracks. There could be no drums and this would be easily be labeled as a folk album, but with Kroeber’s drumming, the atmosphere is intensified.
From Meric Long’s sarcastic lyrics to his use of his somewhat monotone but sweet voice, he has set himself up as a bit of a noticeable figure. The vocals are sincere and harmonic, something lacking from some similar bands. It pulls from folk, blues, country, and even a bit of traditional rock and roll.
This album has surprised and even challenged my view of modern “folk” music. It is sonically appealing and structurally sound in design, but bare bones enough to be credible in the folk scene. It could easily be one of the most accessible albums from the genre.
<span>* Addendum: Radio UTD has been made aware that the artwork was, in fact, created by a special needs class. No offense was intended by the comments made.</span>