Tuesday, January 13, 2009

East Of Everything

As much as I’ve proselytised and lauded the Corazong label in recent blue moon interludes of lunacy this release at first glance doesn’t much trouble the radar amidst much times of strife. Pickled with lucid and dark allusions to love lost with a sweeping accompaniment of acoustic-led balladeering and mid-tempo strolls, it’s just a touch too Nashville, bit too nice and clean-cut, for all that their name evokes the spirited aspersions and narratives of Steve Earle. Accomplished and well-produced it certainly is and wouldn’t waylay the Netherlands notable abilities at appropriating Americana, but as much as it is safe, especially considering some of the subject matter and emotions that coulda been moulded into more maladjusted landscapes. It shouldn’t all go to hang at the soonest noose to noon though. There are lovely moments of bittersweet delight redolent of label-mate Alastair Moock such as the pitter-patter pragmatists lament of Train Of Thought and Road Song. For this sort of fairly safe at home pop-country sheen they aren’t as bland as the disappointing should-be-great-on napkins but somewhat simpering Last Train Home. Moonlight Serenade is worth the cost of a whole carriage of train fares, Amanda Shires voice basking in the shadows of the protagonists suspicions spiked with insinuating accordion raptures, and cowpunk barn-burner I Don’t Need You Anymore more than make up for weaker moments (Picking Up The Pieces, Dog Eat Dog, Just Not Yet) that tend too much to be reaching for Springsteen’s Human Touch for comfort.
Stu Gibson

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