Politically charged Appalachian psychedelia with an unusual flow from West Virginian aural auteur.
“The sound of the rural resistance”: that’s how Anthony W. Rogers describes his third solo album that may seem to address the current state of affairs – in America and beyond – but in quite an oblique, Ray Davies-esque way, sonic-wise, simultaneously naming names and playing mind games. The result is rather bewildering, as signaled by opener “Mash” which would reappear at the end of this record – released five years down the line from “Wrong” and a quarter of a century after “Identifiction” whose very title could define Rogers’ route – yet while the piece’s parts are on the same album, they’re not on the same record. One third of “One Day” can be located on a 7″ EP, whereas the rest is taking an LP, packaged together and accompanied by a CD for those unwilling to break the mood, the songs’ driving force.
It’s easy to get lost in this swirl of tuneful snippets that often conceal the words – only to progressively let melodies and lyrics loose, and lose disorienting meander via meanings in favor of a more refined spectacle, the pocket symphony of “Half The Picture” a delicate hint of what’s going on there. From raga of “I’ll Take The Blame” to the pop romance of “Roman Candle” – the drone on the former deliberately rough, the tender jangle on the latter spiced with reggae-styled drums – and from the riff-ruffled drama of “Big House On The Hill” to the aquarelle harmonies of “In The Water” which suspends all the previous motion, Anthony’s tracks lead the listener on an idiosyncratic trip through his personal issues.
They’re very relatable, though, and even the ever-shifting angles of “Ploom MFs” infect an ear and refuse to leave. Such a journey reaches its apogee with “Range Rover” – a number simple enough to linger in one’s memory, too – although it’s a soulful epic “And When They Ask You” that sheds a different, Todd-shaped, light on the artist, tremulous yet convincing in his commitment. Which is why it can be tempting to join him on harvesting the subject matter of “Cocks In The Field” – an epitome of this lo-fi, if rich, panorama. A flawed but immersive.work.