Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The River and The Road: "Headlights" (album review)

Leaning heavily upon their rock and folk influences, Vancouver-based outfit The River and The Road will release their sophomore full length, Headlights, on May 12th.

The first cut on the record is also it's strongest by far.  The band channel early Hip (think "Last American Exit" early) on the raw pretension-free "Mistakes".

Strong harmonies mix with some '90s era alt country for The Jayhawks-esque "I'm Broke".  The twang and pluck of "Child With a Gun" serves up one of the other precious few signs of life on the album.

Too much of this album is too complacent.  Sleepy roots ballads and vaguely melodic tracks that fall somewhere between Blue Rodeo ("The Beast") and Great Lake Swimmers ("White Flag") fail to ignite anything close to excitement or intrigue.

The sprawling "Weakness" seems to want to make a statement.  However, it lacks the intensity that the lyrics seem to be begging for.

In the end, The River and The Road seem to be on autopilot through much of the album.  Other than the handful of tracks already mentioned, there is precious little of note going on here.

Best tracks: "Mistakes", "Child With a Gun"

Track listing for Headlights:
  • Mistakes
  • I'm Broke
  • Somewhere Far
  • Coulee
  • The Beast
  • Strange Disease
  • Child With a Gun
  • Weakness
  • Headlights
  • White Flag

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