We're taking it down a notch from last week's wall of hellfire and brimstone, because some weeks that's just not what you need. Some weeks you need street lights on dark nights and rain on the windows; a stiff drink and a couple crescendos are the only things to get you back on your feet. And because this week is that kind of a week, imagine how my eyes flashed to the heavens in a silent thank you for Auld Lang Syne's debut CD. I'd heard rumors of them ("like a leaf on the wind") before now, largely due to my auditory fixation with the Avett Brothers (who they tour with come June).
ALS is characterized by your classic (read: good) Americana/Alt-Country sextets. They wail in occasional multi-part harmony. They moan and crow their weaving way across pulsing drums and churning guitars. They bust out the occasional pumping harmonica, and you get the impression their lyrics would be hemohragging meloncholy if they didn't have the world-weary fortitude to clot that sadness and watch it scab over. A pretty decent way to measure the value of an "Americana" band is to count the number of adjectives and verbs you use in the review that could doubly describe animals or blood-- if it's over four, you're doing good, and if it's ten then you've hit paydirt. Some weeks just call for it.
Auld Lang Syne plays Chicago 5/17 @ Reggie's Rock Club, 8:00 PM (sadly not with the Avetts). Their debut album, Midnight Folly, is slated for release 5/2; pick it up at the usual humble interweb mp3 merchants.