Saturday, August 22, 2009

Son Volt - American Central Dust

'Bigger chariots didn't save Rome...' - When The Wheels Don't Move

Ex-Uncle Tupelo man Jay Farrar's third SV album since gathering a new line up a few years back sees his stream of consciousness beat poetics and car-grease americana careen literately and landscape loosely around themes of love and laments to everyday events that pass in the wink of a young girls eye and the wave of a long lost friend...and Keith snorting his pa (Cocaine And Ashes). Yet more novella songs set round travel - the open road, always the road - and bars and vague hints at distant glories once remembered? Yeah it's catching, as is this quietly confident yet diffident album. There's rolling rhythms over acoustic guitars that unravel around gently fuzzed drone guitars, steel and organ over which these reminisces are murmured. It's a largely swirling twilight of an album that unfurls it's fertile secrets long after the stop signs have been passed and the romantic ache of the likes of Dust Of Daylight, the daydream drive in a rocking chair on No Turning Back, the broiling waltzing Strength And Doubt or bitter riposte to the righteously intolerant industrialists of When The Wheels Don't Move can only be met with disinclination by the blindly devout or bizarrely idyllic.
Stu Gibson

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