Okkervil River
Don’t Fall in Love With Everyone You See CD - Jagjaguwar

Displaced New Hampshire folk and current Texas city dwellers, Okkervil River are bridging the gap between the rebellious Johnny Cash ballads of the Seventies and all of the bullshit and void that has occupied the genre that we dare to call country today. Country, or even worse alt-country, no longer attain any positive worth, and labeling Okkervil River as either would only demean the band or draw some sort of parallel to them that doesn’t exist. Instead of trying to define their style as such, just envision this band as what the next logical step in country western would have been if all those dogs hadn’t died and all those trucks hadn’t broken down. Songs about senseless killing, addictions, and just plain ole bad days, the band’s black-and-blue sound is both refreshingly rebellious and genuinely heartfelt. These are strong-minded songs sung with a heavy heart and told as stories. Daniel Johnston accompanies the group on “Happy Hearts” while mandolins, banjos, accordions and harmonicas also make several welcome appearances. By sweeping away the dust and dirt of the Old West, and erasing the endless sprawl out of the usual folkish setting, Okkervil River retain the same magic and old-time feeling of the poignant ballad, but they take note of the skyscrapers and new dilemmas that have sprouted up with time’s passage. How are they able to defy time with their sound? It’s somewhat simple: pain is timeless. (Nolan Gawron)



©2004 Skyscraper Magazine.
All material is the property of Skyscraper Magazine and may not be reprinted, copied, or redistributed without the expressed written consent of the editors.
Site by: Joshua R. Jones