Sunday, July 17, 2011

Review - The Water Tower Bucket Boys, Where The Crow Don't Fly

The Water Tower Bucket Boys


A reflective little EP from a band obviously exploring their diffuse backgrounds and influences.  The result is a new but characteristically lively sound, a pleasure to hear.

The Water Tower Bucket Boys have been around for a good few years now, and their punchy take on folk has shared the stage with the likes of Frank Turner, Mumford and Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show.  Oregon-based, they tour incessantly (they have several UK dates coming up in August and September) and the lifestyle of a band on the road comes across in their songs, full of the restless energy of Cory Goldman’s bluegrass banjo picking.  It is a pleasure, then, to hear a group that are obviously a formidable force live sit back and relax in the studio.  Garrett Durant’s surreal, serene cover art captures the spirit perfectly; in WHERE THE CROW DON’T FLY the Bucket Boys let their softer folk roots show and flex the full range of their musicianship, harmonies emerging tenderly from beneath their usual energy.

Nowhere is this more true than in the first and last songs on the CD, the titular  ‘Meet Me Where the Crow Don’t Fly’ and the intimate ‘R Song’ which ends with a stand alone lyric ‘Don’t forget to move slow, dear’.  In between there is plenty of charm to be had.  A guest harmonica joins Josh Rabie’s fiddle in the melodic ‘Pilgrim Song’ and Goldman’s vocals, always tinged with rock, are broken by some impressive picking solos in ‘Easy Way Out’.  Overall though, it is their opening and closing tracks that do it for me.  These are full of depth and colour, whilst lyrics like ‘leaves sound like toast’ keep the hard sense of fun that makes these guys stand out from the crowd.  I will definitely be picking up their current album ‘Sole Kitchen’ and I can’t wait to see where their professed desire to ‘turn [their] genre upside down’ will take them from here. Katy Browse

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