Hot off the presses: new music! Better said, new music that is worth your time.
Dave Matthews Band – Come Tomorrow – 14 songs / 54 minutes
Dave and his guys return with familiar themes on their best album since 2005’s Stand Up.
The career arc of David Matthews’s crew began as an underground college radio and campus phenomenon in the early 90s, until Under the Table and Dreaming and Crash sent them to the stratosphere. Before These Crowded Streets (my personal favorite) saw them experimenting with more worldly sounds and sinister melodies, yet maintained their popularity. After 2001’s Everyday the radio airtime became more limited and they became more of a legacy act, famous for their relentless touring and aggressive performances.
Although they have been relegated to Mom-rock status as of late – and this record will not do anything to change that – this is their best output in well over a decade. The familiar theme of a lovestruck Dave (see “Can’t Stop”, “Here On Out”, “Idea of You”, “That Girl Is You” and numerous others) are abound, and the melodies are solid.
The album begins with the infectious lead single “Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)” before settling in to a trio of solid Dave in love tracks. “Virginia in the Rain” reminds one of the band’s late 90s heyday, while “Black and Blue Bird” is truly beautiful. For those who may not have listened to a DMB release in some time, this is a great place to pick them back up. And rest assured, they are once again touring the country this summer, including their usual three-night residence at the Gorge.
Key Tracks: “Here on Out”, “Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)”, “Black and Blue Bird”
Caamp – Boys (Side A) – 6 songs / 23 minutes
Up and coming Americana-rockers Caamp drop a masterpiece EP that we can only hope is the first of two.
Given the “Side A” included in the title of this EP, I am hopeful that there is a “Side B” coming. Clocking in at well under half an hour, this one is still full of highlights and shows a band growing right before our eyes. Taylor Meier’s voice is eerily reminiscent of Ray LaMontagne with its growly and raspy yet beautiful tones, particularly when on “Hey Joe” he yells “Hey Joe, I got one more question; how does it feel to spit that love into a microphone”?
This six-song set is solid from start to finish, but for me the highlight is the Lumineers-esque epic that is “26”, where Taylor asks “so what do you say, when we’re 26, we get married just for kicks and move out to Alaska, way up there; I’ll get a job stacking bricks, you’ll stay at home with the kids, and I’ll bring the bacon back home to you girl”. The banjo and tambourine combination here is just perfect, with subtle basslines running behind. This is a new band to get familiarized with, no doubt.
Key Tracks: “26”, “Autumn Leaves”, “Hey Joe”
Howlin Rain – The Alligator Bride