River City Extension Deliverance Album Review
New Jersey’s River City Extension broke through in 2012 with a fantastic sophomore album release, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger, an album that finished the year in the Top 5 albums in our annual album of the year feature. Finally, we get to see their follow-up release, and it was worth the wait.
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On Deliverance, their third album, we clearly see a band progressing through changes. They were a diversely talented octet a few years ago, and have since pared down to a more manageable quintet. Still, the music of River City Extension is as diverse and creative as we’ve grown accustomed to.
With Deliverance, they open the next chapter in their musical odyssey, and it promises to be an exciting one. The new offering, via Anchor & Hope Records still boasts an ample serving of the eclectic indie folk rock feel that sets River City Extension apart from so many of their peers, and it also offers some brave new twists.
As we’ve come to expect from front man Joe Michelini, the first pass through the album is like listening to a new indie-folk rock playlist on shuffle – each song a surprise, usually captivating in its own way and typically very different from the predecessor.
The album, which hits the streets Tuesday, March 10th, kicks off with an excellent rocker, “Something’s Gotta Give.” It’s beautifully arranged, multi-layered chaos that is an absolute joy to listen to. The guitars and strings are perfectly-placed and masterfully diverse, the lead vocals and harmonies catchy as hell. It might be the best song on the album, but there’s plenty more of substance on here, as well.
I also loved the rockabilly feel of “Ohio” an instantly comfortable song carried along by excellent drums and some nice strings, and the bouncy folksy sound of “White Blackmail.” “Vox Populi” is an intriguing offering, as well; the track starts with a tremendously subdued opening, then explodes into an angry, passionate rocker, punctuated by Michelini’s grittiest work on the album.
“Indian Summer” is a track that truly captures the essence of the band. Michelini’s vocals are tender and vulnerable, the strings understated yet attention-grabbing and combined perfectly with hard-driving drums. The transition from ballad into hearty rocker is just wonderful.
On the softer side, “Man Of Conviction” is a nice showcase for Michelini’s evolving vocal prowess, while the stark “Deliverance Pt. 2” takes his vocals to a naked and vulnerable extreme.
Is Deliverance as good as Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger? Probably not, but it delivers an absolutely fresh and welcome cut at rock ‘n roll that deserves a spot on your new music radar.
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