The .357 String Band: Lightning From The North (2010)
String bands with a little punk and rock’n’roll background seem to be the thing for me at the moment. My latest finding is The .357 String Band from Milwaukee and I’ve been listening to them an awfully lot lately. Lightning From The North is their third album if I’m not mistaken and while I don’t think it’s absolutely perfect as a whole, it certainly has a lot of drop dead gorgeous moments. Especially Oh, Adilene, Days To Engrave and Rags to Rags are totally brilliant and you just can’t get tired of them. Believe me, I’ve tried and listened to each of these 3 tracks about 50 times during the last couple of weeks based on last.fm.
Lightning From The North contains a lot of highly energic, hard driving and banjo-driven bluegrass ready to bite into your bones, but in the end, the moments when they take the foot of the gas are the ones that leave the most lasting mark on my body. This doesn’t mean that the songs that fall into that first category aren’t any good. All of this biteful bluegrass that they call streetgrass is extremely enjoyable and the songs are either really good or just awesome like Darkness In My Soul and the already mentioned Rags To Rags. It’s just that when they slow down just a little bit, they are able to deliver something heavenly brilliant like Oh Adilene and Days To Engrave. Even though about 2/3 of the album is only really good and nothing totally exceptional, it’s still totally impossible not to fall in love with Lightning from the North, because the remaining third sounds like the best thing ever and contains some of the finest songs of the year.
Listen to Oh, Adilene: