September 6, 2007

Record Review: Avett Brothers

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When I put the Avett Brothers’ Emotionalism CD into my computer for iTunes to gobble up, the database in the system placed the band within the genre of country. Country? That’s the biggest genre copout that I’ve seen recently. Certainly there are elements of country in the music — well, there’s a banjo — but from a band that’s been called “grungegrass” and “post-civil war modern rock,” I’d be willing to bet that the country moniker just doesn’t comprehend all that they can do. The most country I heard was in the song “Salina,” which sounds like John Denver’s country folk, but on steroids for that extra energy that Seth Avett’s voice creates over the acoustic guitar-banjo-upright bass combination. Most of what you hear definitely hearkens back to another country-rock flavored band of brothers, the Everlys of course. “Will You Return” highlights this influence, if the Everly Brothers wandered into BALCO and this is acoustic-folk-country-bluegrass on steroid with triple harmonies. I’d say “country” can’t fully describe that.