Sunday, December 10, 2006

Big Duel This Spring

By the way, there's a big duel brewing. New CDs from Son Volt & Wilco will hit within a month of each other. Two bands I like very much, fronted by a couple guys who rather dislike each other.

I don't know much about the Wilco disc, other than they're mixing it now and it will be out in April, but the Son Volt disc sounds interesting. I'm guardedly optimistic. I like the idea of the piano here, but the horns make me nervous. Reminds me of some of the less intersting Farrar solo stuff. But at 14 tracks, there's plenty of room for a few missed bets, and for it still to be a great one.

Press release from Son Volt:

'The Search' in stores March 6
Album Marks Farrar's and Son Volt's Most Diverse Record Yet

'The Search,' the intriguing new album from Son Volt, is set for release on March 6 on Transmit Sound/Legacy, and it's by far the band's most daring and diverse album yet. The follow-up to 2005's acclaimed 'Okemah and the Melody of Riot,' 'The Search' is a startlingly powerful and inspiring departure from the band's alt-country laden records, employing an exceptional variety of sounds, melodies, and arrangements.

"Instrumentally, the electric guitar was the focus of the last record 'Okemah', but for 'The Search' we wanted to try something new, " says songwriter Jay Farrar. "This time, we utilized different instrumentation to fit each song -- from guitar pedal loops to various keyboard sounds to horns."

The piano of 'Okemah's' gorgeous closing ballad "World Waits For You" returns here to open 'The Search' with the beautifully haunting processional "Slow Hearse." Laced with Eastern-style electric guitar and Farrar's signature vocals, the tune fades out to silence only to dive into 'The Picture,' a track that features an upbeat Memphis-style horn section combined with stirring lyrics that reflect on the current and future state of things, "when war is profit and profit is war."

There's the buzzing, Zeppelin-esque guitar of "Action"; the hypnotic, other-worldly riff of "Circadian Rhythm"; the vocal harmonizing of chanteuse Shannon McNally on "Highways and Cigarettes"; and the Big Brother commentary of title track "The Search," a solid rock song delivered as only Son Volt can.

'The Search' features Jay Farrar (vocal, guitar, piano), Dave Bryson (drums), Derry DeBorja (keyboards), Andrew Duplantis (bass, backing vocals) and Brad Rice (guitar).

Jay Farrar, who is currently wrapping up a run of dates with Anders Parker as part of their side-band Gob Iron in support of the duo's debut 'Death Songs For The Living,' will hit the road with Son Volt for a national tour in March.

"THE SEARCH" Track Listing
1. Slow Hearse
2. The Picture
3. Action
4. Underground Dream
5. Circadian Rhythm
6. Beacon Soul
7. The Search
8. Adrenaline and Heresy
9. Satellite
10. Automatic Society
11. Methamphetamine
12. L Train
13. Highways and Cigarettes
14. Phosphate Skin


At 12/10/2006 3:26 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Somehow this makes me nervous. I guess I feel like Wilco can pull off anything they try. But not so sure about Jay's gang. I'll give it a try, certainly.

At 12/10/2006 6:04 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I agree. Son Volt is best when they keep it basic. Usually. Okemah was really good. I have hope.

I'm still waiting for the Son Volt CD that matches their live shows. Farrar need to let it go. He tends to button songs down a bit too much.

He needs to listen to some more classic Neil Young & Crazy Horse.


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