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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Acorn - A diamond in the rough?, 12 Jun 2010
Red on Black - See all my reviews
This review is from: No Ghost (Audio CD)
The Acorn's last album "Hope Glory Mountain" was a fascinating and often staggeringly beautiful homage to Rolf Klausener`s mother Gloria Esperanza Montoya and her story of a abusive childhood in Honduras and subsequent journey of escape to Canada. It was packed with world rhythms particularly from Honduras and wonderful songs like "Crooked legs". Klausener is the "chief cook and bottle washer in the band" being its vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter but receives able support from drummer Jeffrey Malecki, guitarist/visual artist Howie Tsui, bassist Jeff Debutte, and Montreal keyboardist Keiko Devaux. The Acorn now record on the Bella Union label and this album bears many of that labels trademarks of indie folk rock combined with a subtle twist of Talking Heads and Sufjan Stevens.

Is it as good as Hope Glory Mountain? The honest answer is that I am not sure. While it is certainly does not have the lovely charm supplied through the West African rhythms of the debut it makes up for this with a range of strong songs which don't see the band rest on their laurels but experiment. Opener "Cobbled from the dust" finds itself in Grizzly Bear "Veckatimest" territory and is a wonderful starting point for any downloads. One of albums highlight follows namely "Restoration" a powerful anthem starting with a guitar coda, tapping drum sticks and building into a fine old rock concoction. Its great stuff and provides a real contrast to one of the albums equally fine moments "Slippery when wet" (not Bon Jovi thank god) a sparse banjo led acoustic song so light that if you left it in the wind it would blow away. In between the albums title track is full of much heavier rock bombast and keeps reminding me of a cross between the Who and REM for some reason and has a backward guitar thrown in for good measure. The more I listen the more depth this album reveals from the nice pop music and waves of harmonies of "Crossed Wires" to the much more dramatic "I made the law" where Klausener sounds like Tom Petty.

"No Ghost" therefore builds firmly on the foundations set by "Hope Glory Mountain". It is by no means a difficult listen but it is one which requires some effort and concentration to fully reveal all the nuances and the shades contained therein. Time will tell of course but this second album may well be "a diamond in the rough" from this ever developing and improving Canadian band.
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No Ghost
No Ghost by The Acorn (Audio CD - 2010)
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