A few months ago, I heralded the arrival of Inouk's No
Danger as a significant musical achievement with its reinvention
of the folk rock genre as Americana paired with late '60s American
& Brit pop-rock. It was also a masterful album by any measure
that has secured an unassailable spot on my top 10 list for this
year. So, whenever I review something I think is new and something
similar comes close on its heels, I have to take pause and wonder:
Have I been missing something? Eminent sociologist Chad C.
Mulligan once remarked on the nature of coincidence: "You
weren't paying attention to the other half of what was going on."
So, here in Great Lakes Myth Society you will find more
of the same; sort of. "Seeds for Sale" is so rock-operatic
that at times I felt as though it had been lifted right out of
The Who's Tommy. Other songs are so old-timey-folk
that they sound like they came out of an area of Appalachia that
time completely forgot. I guess I could say that there is an aesthetic
consistency over the album as a whole, just not from track to
track. This will appeal to some listeners, but may put off others
who look for stylistic contiguity. I've heard this billed as a
concept album about the Upper Midwest, and at times it does have
the 'concept' feel. But, not being a denizen of the Upper Midwest,
I can only nod blindly in pseudo-agreement in that latter regard.
This genre still feels new and under-populated, and Great Lakes
Myth Society is different enough to not be derivative. In an isolated
examination-outside genre or predecessor comparisons-I'd say it
holds up pretty well. Noticeable influences are broad and varied,
and they don't dwell on any one of them for too long, which gives
them a fresh sound. Some of the songs stand out more than the
others do, but even the songs that drag a little aren't anything
I would ever skip.
1. Red Jacket Miners/The Salt Trucks
2. Across the Bridge
3. Love Story
4. Buffalo Nickel
5. Big Jim Hawkins
6. Marquette County
7. Seeds for Sale
8. Pining, Drinking, Understanding
9. Isabella County, 1992
10. No. VI
11. The Northern Lights Over Atlanta, MI
12. When Will I Cease
13. Railway Ties
15. Lake Effect
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