6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Much silvery magnificence on critics favourite.,
This review is from: Post To Wire (Audio CD)
Feted by various music mags as a contender for the best album of the year Post to Wire has impeccable credentials bringing to mind such music luminaries as American Music Club circa "California", The Triffids circa "Born Sandy Devotional", Thin White Rope, Uncle Tupelo and Ryan Adams former band Whiskeytown. The truth according to this reviewer is that while Post to Wire has much silvery magnificence to offer its not as good as either of the aforementioned albums, but hey that's ok, as not that many albums are.
If I've understood this album correctly it follows a narrative, telling a tale as it ambles along in a plasma trail of pedal steel, shimmering chords and occasional acoustic dissonance. Mini vignettes intersperse the songs in the form of letters home relating a tale of money owed, women loved and lost and in general life on the road.
Musically it rarely deviates from the formula described above." Montgomery Park" is a six stringed thrash with a pleasing echo of The Replacements. "Hallway" is carried by guitars that crackle like static electricity and huge gulping harmonies. The title track is a skip along duet with Deborah Kelly who also provides counterpoint backing vocals on shivery ballad "Polaroid". Huge mournful strains of cello creak throughout "Allison Johnson" a song with such a somnolent air of despair you can imagine This Mortal Coil covering it. The near eight minute "Willamette" seethes with a quiet intensity till it erupts in a scorching deluge of pedal steel and tangential chords. "Valediction" is an instrumental and as seems to be way with instrumentals is the dullest track on the album.
Other than that, the pedal steel strains flow like gossamer bats, while Willy Vlautins pleasant twangy vocals relate these often poetic tales of you guessed it, broken hearts and dreams gone sour. Rarely is it done as well as on Post to Wire though. And in "Barely Losing" they have one of the most spine tingling songs of 2004.