Wednesday, 19 October 2011 17:42
While Ancient River’s second full-length CD, Songs From North America is not pop music, and it’s difficult to hear a hit single, the record is good old fashioned album rock from the early FM radio era and therefore qualifies in my book as real American rock ‘n’ roll.
Produced by Jaime Barreto and the band Ancient River, the sound harkens one back to the days of the late ’60s and early ’70s jam band psychedelics, with a little early ’90s grunge for good measure.
By Greg Allard
Speaking of grunge, the lead vocalist Jaime Barreto sounds like he’s emulated some of his style from the godfather of grunge himself, Neil Young. Barreto’s lead guitar is sometimes loud and distorted like from Young’s Crazy Horse period and sometimes delicate like Stephen Stills or spacey like Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner. Along with Zach Veltheim’s bass and Chad Voight’s drums, the band plays well together, as they take you off into different interesting directions throughout the 10-track sojourn.
I say sojourn here only because this record sounds like great driving music for driving through, as the title implies, what’s left of the majestic side of North America, that is before it was polluted coast to coast by shopping malls.
“Big Sky,” the album’s sixth track, replete with harmonica, dueling guitars and heavy bass, is just about that, driving under the big sky and appreciating nature’s serene landscape.
One of the best tracks is the fourth, “Solid Ground.” From its crunchy rhythm, driving bass, sprawling lead, heartfelt vocals and drumbeat keeping it all together, one gets a good indication of the heights the band is capable of.
This is an album that gets better upon repeated listens. But don’t take my word for it. Get the album, take a long drive, let it repeat, and by the time the trip is over, you’re likely to greatly appreciate it—that is if you really do like rock ‘n’ roll.