- David Rawlings Machine – Nashville Obsolete. Oh, how this pains me. Their first record as the D.R.M. took a good while to really click with me. I wasn’t quite sure I dug the sillier tunes, and the slower tunes seemed too slow. But over time I came to like it quite a bit. And while their live shows are always fantastic, I’ve been hoping they’d put out a new record so they can have some new material to play. Now they have a new record! And it’s full of stuff they’ve been playing for years. And, most of these songs are and slow and long – and not in the hypnotic style of Gillian Welch’s “I Dream A Highway”, just, sigh, plodding. Of the seven songs on this, only one comes in under four minutes. One is nearly 11 minutes long, one takes 8 minutes, two are six minutes. And 30 minutes go by before you get to a song with a tempo approaching toe-tapping speed. And, there are strings: not fiddles, but violins and cellos! Of all the things to put next to simple acoustic guitars and vocals, a string section would be pretty far from my first choice. I find it totally distracting. I still love the band, but, sadly, this doesn’t satisfy.
- Kurt Vile – B’lieve I’m Going Down. Have you ever wondered what a cross between The Meat Puppets, Iron And Wine and the slower side of Modest Mouse would sound like?