Great Lakes - Dreaming Too Close to the Edge

by D R Pautsch Rating:7 Release Date:2018-04-06
Great Lakes - Dreaming Too Close to the Edge
Great Lakes - Dreaming Too Close to the Edge

Great Lakes are from Athens originally but now work out of Brooklyn.  With only one member of their original line up they have changed from the Elephant 6 and into something else.  This, their sixth album sees them trying to expand their range and sound and it works in patches. 

It’s a slow burning and smouldering affair of an album that oozes with slick lyrics and guitar that drawls all over the songs like some lazy southern gentleman from another era.  You can imagine this playing in a bar full of smoke, whisky and abandoned hopes.  Some songs finish with the fuzz of feedback, but this only heightens the soft focus approach of the whole affair that is warm and yet shot through with a hint of bitterness.  Bury The Hatchet is a country sounding twang of a song that acts like a deadpan comedian when it waits to deliver the line ‘I’d like to bury the hatchet…… in your back’  This is no sweet set of songs about love and all its wonders, rather a reminder of its pitfalls. 

There are a few songs that feel a little out of place, the opening number End of an Error is chief amongst these as it feels like they have fused the sound with Elephant 6 contemporaries Apples in Stereo by adding an organ deep in the mix and moved to more poppy sensibilities.   This doesn’t feel like a misstep, rather something out of place.  On an album where everything works together to give a mood, this stands out.  

To Live and to Lose kicks off like an epic rock number that the late Tom Petty might have delivered, full of guitar licks before the vocals kick in.  It then morphs into an almost early Dire Straits number that is an unfolding story.  These two songs show directions Great Lakes could go. However, the more intimate and dark the songs get the better they work. Minor Blues is a smouldering number that slowly drags itself out through its dual vocals and lazy guitar twang and eventual appearance of strings.

If you want to feel the upcoming Spring in full effect run as far away from this Great Lakes album as possible.  However, if you want a bit of introspection then grab that scotch or bourbon (ice, no mixer) with me and kick back with this late into the evening and beyond.

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