Saturday, December 31, 2011

DEPARTING - The Rural Alberta Advantage (2011)

Whether as fiery and hard-charging as classic punk, or as sad and secluded as the bedroom pop of contemporaries like Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, the ten tracks on Toronto-based trio The Rural Alberta Advantage's second album Departing offer up a brand of indie folk as straightforward and non-fussed-over as one is likely to hear.

But in no way should this lack of complexity be perceived as a flaw.

Powered by band leader Nils Edenloff's battle ax of an acoustic guitar and piercing, Jeff Mangum-like howl, the songs on Departing are a highly consistent, appealing, and propulsive lot...perfect for long drives down desolate roads the album's Fargo referencing cover so clearly suggests.

And while in no way intended or implied as a substitute for In The Aeroplane Over the Sea, I feel many fans of Neutral Milk Hotel will eat this album will any listener who likes their indie served spare, passionate, and direct.

Status: Solid Recommend.

Cherry Picker's Best Bets: Under The Knife, North Star, Stamp, Barnes Yard.

Here's the official video for Muscle Relaxants.

Component Breakdown:
1. Two Lovers - 7
2. The Breakup - 7
3. Under The Knife - 8
4. Muscle Relaxants - 8
5. North Star - 8
6. Stamp - 9
7. Tornado '87 - 8
8. Barnes' Yard - 8
9. Coldest Days - 8
10. Good Night - 8
Intangibles - Above Average
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