Roadside Graves - My Son's Home

This week sees the official release of Roadside Graves’ 4th album, My Son’s Home, through Autumn Tone Records. Two years ago No One Will Know Where You’ve Been absolutely floored me with its mix of charging, Springsteen-inspired anthems and poignant folk songs. Compared to the polished Americana of that album, which was among my favorites of 2007, My Son’s Home is a far more raucous and gritty representation of the band’s sound - truer to the rowdy tendencies of their live show than anything they have previously released. It also explores a wider array of styles and influences over the course of its 18 (!) song tracklist. In addition to the already mentioned Springsteen influence you’ll hear plenty of folk, blues, country, and soul, as well as The Pogues, Exile-era Stones, The Band, and Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue. The production is electrifying from start to finish - at times the Graves sound like they’re blowing the roof off a crowded, smoky barroom and later like they're serenading the starry sky from a porch deep in the woods. The songwriting of John Gleason is also as strong as ever - religious imagery and themes of conflicted families and war surface regularly and give the album a loose themetic unity revolving around, in their own words, "friends in a variety of familiar settings: the homestead, the battlefield, the country and the city". You’ll be hard pressed to find a songwriter better able to use seemingly minor details to create vivid, realistic characters and convey their heart-wrenching stories. But My Son's Home is no one man show - every member contributes to give the record a truly communal, lived-in feel. My Son’s Home does this consistently from start to finish, and in doing so becomes one of the best albums you’ll hear this summer.

MP3 :: Far and Wide
MP3 :: Ruby
(from My Son’s Home. Buy here)

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