October 13, 2009

Review: Born Again

Over the past couple of years, blues/folk/rock has become a bit more popular through the radio and listeners, partially due to an influx of artists such as Amos Lee and Ray LaMontagnge, who have released a number of fantastic albums in the past five years that have blended country-folk with rock and roll. The results are a series of better-than-average rock and roll songs that take the best of both worlds - storytelling with the energy and sound of rock. While this isn't universally true, there is quite a bit to suggest that folk-rock is a bit on the rise, with the aforementioned artists, but also with such acts as Alexi Murdoch and Iron & Wine, covering the loud to the softer sides of this genre.

Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons are no different on this list. Hailing from Wisconsin, the group, headed by frontman Cory Chisel, has released their first full length album entitled Death Won't Send A Letter, a remarkable album that comes after several smaller EPs (Darken Your Door, Little Bird and Cabin Ghosts).

This album is a joy to listen to - The Wandering Sons have a diverse range of sound, starting the album off with a bang with Born Again, before settling down, ironically, Calm Down. This range is a healthy one for the entire album, because they seem so effortlessly to move from song to son. The faster songs on the album are well paced, rythmic and above all, interesting. But beyond just the range of speed at which the band can play, they shift around the sounds quite a bit - Death Won't Send a Letter, has a dynamic and rich sound, one that far surpasses most albums that I've heard yet this year. Where a number of bands have adapted a sound to suit a change, The Wandering Sons are the real deal, and if you aren't tapping your foot or getting into the sound, you're doing something wrong.

Born Again - Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons