Upon a quest for wonder, Virginian alt-country bunch untangle some existential enigmas.
There was something prosaic about this band’s debut, 2012’s “Just Life,” but its follow-up has an air of poetry to it. More so, it’s rocking from “House Of Freaks” which is a key to open their worn-as-logo heart – and the hearts of their listeners, too – on to the title track’s gracious finale. The drift keeps you on your toes, as “Fair Is Fair” marries folk intent to the Mick-and-Keef kind of electric sleaze so, once Johnny Hudak’s guitar has locked in with bass and drums, there’s no looking back.
Still, a sly sort of reflection seeps into the effervescent cuts like “Stuff A Guy Can Use” for a kitchen-sink effect and, as far as romance goes, Suzie Johnson takes hold for “Hey Sweet Thang” while the piano underscores her teasing with the equally infectious boogie. Looking at the other side of everyday routine, Johnson provides a pining counterbalance in “Fare Thee Well” to Hudak’s boisterous “I Got It Good” before the two voices entwine for the most traditional chorus of “Think About Me” that’s also hard to resist. Not as hard, perhaps, as the raucous “Rainbow Road” yet in a couple of places the melodies edge too close to EAGLES and Neil Young’s classics, so the zest comes by proxy sometimes – but that’s not the influences to be ashamed of.
Light on mystery this album may be, then, which can’t be said about its beauty.