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Dustbowl Revival (from the EP Set Me Free on AntiFragile Music) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Their name may conjure up images of windswept prairies and depression-era itinerants, but in reality, the band — consisting of core members Zach Lupetin (vocals/guitar) and Josh Heffernan (drums/percussion), and new recruits Lashon Halley (voclas), Ulf Bjorlin (trombone), Stephen Musselman (guitar/pedal steel), Yosmel Montejo (bass) and Leider Chapotin (trumpet) — comes across as nothing less than absolutely exuberant. What it lacks in quantity — it boasts only four tracks in total — Set Me Free more than makes up for in quality, with a selection of songs that hews to a varied template and more than a few unexpected twists and turns along the way.
Things kick off with a gleeful chuckle and proceed from there into the giddy opening title-track, “Set Me Free”, a full-on Funk-like frenzy that ricochets from start to finish on the strength of its riveting refrain. “Be (For July)”, the track that follows, calms things down to a great extent, providing a thoughtful interlude and ample opportunity for a reflective respite. With “Lying to Myself” the band purvey a somewhat eerie ambiance as they navigate way with a deliberate determination, momentarily breaking the spell for the sake of the slight bounce that comes through in the chorus. The song’s both melodic and mysterious, yet quietly compelling all at the same time.
Closer “Best Day” changes the pace yet again, courtesy of its hint of pure Pop, ending the EP with a flurry of brass, harmonies and an optimistic, upbeat attitude. Then again, given that the title of the set itself is Set Me Free, it’s somewhat uncertain if the feelings are genuine, or merely a cover for some understated emotion.
Ultimately, one has to admire Dustbowl Revival’s willingness to vary their template and offer some intrigue along the way. Hopefully this is a precursor to a full-length endeavor that will find their creative impulses continuing to soar and their skills simply to shine. (By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Dustbowl Revival from AMAZON
Please go to the Dustbowl Revival website for more purchase and artist information
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