So I've mentioned before that a sizable assortment of albums crosses our desks on a weekly basis. Bands often submit their releases in hopes that we'll review them in the paper, and while we might just do that if we had the time or space, I'm afraid the cookie just don't crumble that way. So this is the first in what I hope to be a series of installments I'm calling "From the Pile." We'll pull out an album from the stack, give it a spin and tell you what we think. Rating system is on a scale of 1 to 10 ice cream cones.
"Call it Alt-Country?"
Album: Young Lungs
Label: Sophomore Lounge
I was told before listening to Young Lungs that Murfreesboro's Ribbonpigeon are sort of a Glossary Lite, and while their graceful meshing of guitars, strings and steel certainly falls in the same vein, the album is less of a re-imagining of traditional country and more of a straight-up homage to rock-based country and bluegrass. It's the kind of reverential Southern offering complete with Nashville twang and fiddle that actually aren't obnoxious whatsoever. It steps outside the Southern box here and there; there's definitely more than a slight hint of Springsteen influence in the haggard, world-weary vocals and of Tom Petty in the Americana (damn that confounded word) arrangements. Young Lungs is by no means a groundbreaking album. It doesn't interpret its influences in a way that will blow your mind, but if you're a Hank or Patsy or Johnny fan, it just might reinstate your faith that a handful of modern bands are capable of playing a type of country that isn't insultingly banal.