Friday, March 27, 2009

Envy Magazine review of Yonder is the Clock

The Felice Brothers
Yonder Is The Clock

With its release coming hot on the heels of their self-titled 2008 debut (which earned comparisons with similarly arty folk-rockers Kings of Leon and The Avett Brothers), it would’ve been easy for The Felice Brothers to simply dump all of their unreleased material onto Yonder Is The Clock and call it a day.

Instead, their sophomore effort is both more cohesive and diverse than its predecessor. On “The Big Surprise,” Ian’s lazy river delivery and the backwoods ambience make it clear that the Brothers want listeners to be sucked into their old-timey universe. This isn’t music one just listens to; it’s music to get lost in.

Other highlights include the eerie “Ambulance Man” and full-bellied celebrations “Run Chicken Run” and “Penn Station,” which has wonderful two-part harmonies. The Brother’s can do a Tom Waits thing (“Sailor Song”) and tug the heartstrings (“Boy From Lawrence County”) with equal aplomb. There is even an ambitious state-of-the-nation composition in “Cooperstown,” which is the group’s most successful crack at long-form narrative songwriting.

Like The Felice’s last release, Yonder could use a few faster numbers to pace the mournful ballads that dominate the B side. But there isn’t one bad or repetitive song, and on additional listens the album gains appreciable replay value. The Felice Brothers have shown they have staying power.
-Jack Frink