PopMatters – Top Albums

PopMatters – Top Albums

PopMatters – Top Albums 150 150 The Band of Heathens

http://www.popmatters.com/feature/176933-the-best-americana-of-2013/P1/
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The Band of Heathens

Sunday Morning Record

(BOH)  #6

The Band of Heathens
Sunday Morning Record


After the 2011 departure of co-founder Colin Brooks and the pursuant departure of the band’s rhythm section, remaining Heathens Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist were faced with some serious band rebuilding. Thankfully, the two were able to more than just put the pieces back together, coming out the other end of the near-dissolution for the better and turning out their best studio album yet. The opening track, “Shotgun”, says it all: pairing a warm, folksy melody to an ingenious set of time changes, common time verses against a waltzing chorus. Boasting a clean and polished sound, Sunday Morning Record is as smooth as Americana gets, harking back to the days when “AOR-ready” would have been just the right description. Strains of circa-1972 Eagles simmer under the surface of these songs, though Jurdi and Quist often do the original soft-rockers one better, digging into a thoughtful and serious vein of nostalgia that would have caused Don Henley to turn tail and run. The acoustic apology, “Since I’ve Been Home”, offers a bruising look at the itinerant lifestyle, the narrator observing as he settles back into being home, with all the sad weight of retrospection, “You know we almost had it good / We break like bad habits never could.” All in all, this fixation on retrospection serves them well—Jurdi and Quist look musically backwards, but don’t necessarily want to return there.  Taylor Coe