When people bandy about the term 'roots music', it usually refers to a brand of music that was born out of the traditional folk strand. For Racoon Wedding, however, the roots in question are the very origins of rock n' roll.
The energetic piano tinkling of "Wet Whistle" hearkens right back to Jerry Lee Lewis and the Golden Age of Rock N' Roll. The toe-tapping "Elephant" is a strong update on the sound of bands like The Comets.
The group breaks out of that space a few times. On the album opener "Eldorado" they add a mariachi flair. The hurky jerky nature of "Black Coat" makes it sound like a New Wave cut that's been stripped down and rearranged into a '50s rock piece.
The band have a sense of humour to them. I wish it came through a little more frequently, because it makes "Heathen Girl" a particular treat.
Not everything on the record is a winner. Things get a tad monotonous when they slow it down on "Of the River". The prog rock elements of "Raccoon" are intriguing, but sound somewhat out-of-place in the context of the balance of the album.
Racoon Dead On the Side of the Road is a rock solid record that should give you a nice kick-off to fall. Watch your driving though.
Best tracks: "Wet Whistle", "Heathen Girl"
Track listing fro Racoon Dead On the Side of the Road:
- Wet Whistle
- Local Ghosts
- Kid Ryder
- Black Coat
- Of the River
- Heathen Girl
- All I Have
- All I Need