Folkslinger | Vol II

 
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Family Average: 4/7

Have you ever had an artist sling folk at you? Up until now, I can't say that I have. But here I am, fully covered head from head to toe in folk thanks to Folkslinger’s Vol II. So jump on in with us; it’s nice and warm in here with some country rock floating around too.

Check out their Bandcamp and read how the family felt about all the folk:

 

The opening of the first track, “Hot World,” with the repetitive lyrics and jabbing guitar had me drawing comparisons to The Cars’ “Just What I Needed,” but the similarities ended there. These guys have a pretty distinct sound, and the album as a whole felt like a strong showcase of who they are and what they do. Their name suggests a certain folk influence -- which I think manifests in their narrative lyrics—while the vocals had a sort of country-rock-Americana twang going on.

All in all, not really my thing, but there were some great moments of shoe-gaze influenced guitar and instrumentation that kept me interested.

3.5/7

 
 
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So this album’s got all the trappings and such for your typical country rock sorta vibe, with a bit of folk mixed in. The singer’s vocal style solidifies that too. But it might be that it’s fitting too comfortably into that genre. If you played this and told me it was another band I’d have to think about it for a bit before realizing it wasn’t. That said, it’s got a nice, clean sound to it. They change things up song to song trying different moods and paces, so while some stick out, like “Hot World.” others can kinda just fade into the background like “Find Your Way.” The singer’s got a good sound, but a lot of the vocals are kinda monotonous. The inflection and range stay kinda stagnant through most of the songs and at times it can be a bit droning. Maybe a subdued kind of emotion was what they were going for, but I just thought could use a bit more spirit. It’s a good album for easy listening. Would fit right at home playing in the background of a summer barbecue or a midwest bar.

4/7

 
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The first track gave me a very Eddie Vedder feel. Earthy, raw vocals matched well with the music. "Ghost of Guitar" reminded me a bit of Neil Diamond in his prime, so definitely in a good way. Great lyrics and production rounds out, what I feel is a very refreshing album. "Hot World" is probably their most pop/commercially appealing track. I could see this one getting air time for sure.  Happy to have been exposed to this album and excited to see what comes next from this band.

6/7

 
 
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Boy oh boy real glad this album leans more on the rock side than folk. Not to say that I dislike folk or anything. It just feels like this is a band that was born to play loud. They are a heck of a romp on songs like “Hot World”, and even in their downtempo songs like “Silent Lover” the music still had a real great steady energy through the whole thing. Another thing I really enjoyed was the timber of the singer. Not sure if that is the right word the gruff sound gavet the songs a feeling of authenticity. Another thing that stood out was the shimmering guitars that rang out over a couple verses on the album. Just that kind of sound that warms your heart, or your belly depending on how much whisky you had. Keep it up my dudes.

5/7

 
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To start, I like how the album an original quality to it. As anyone who reads these reviews probably noticed, I like to place artists in a box, but these guy were really difficult to compare to others. They really had their own unique sound. Still I tried to find an artist or song to compare them to.

I’d say their track “Hot World” was a nice little rocker. Only gripe was I found myself distracted by the repetition of the lyrics. Stuff like “hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, oh Night”, I felt like they could have done a little bit better with some other words there.

As I continued to listen it still bugged me I couldn’t find a comparison for these guys. Who is it? Who do they sound like? It finally hit me when I heard “Find Your Way” — they have a Psychedelic Furs quality to them. Maybe a little stretch, but I had to try!

Overall, nice sound. I give them high marks because they seem to go out of their way to create something original.

4/7

 
 
Sean Maldjian