Cicero & the Orations is a funk and jam laden spectacle consisting of Ian McNally, Tim Bustle, Daniel Bloch, John Mason, and Shannon Moore.
Their loftily entitled album Things That Endure opens with dirty jam rocker “View From a Field” that is born of deeply poetic lyrics and a hard-hitting rock sound. It’s pleasurable and erratic in a jam band sense.
It’s followed up by the FTW post punk feel of “Young Pt. 1.” It has feeling but lets off with a bit of wanting and leads into a more intricate and somber tone with the gritty and slow beginnings of “Truro” which builds into an almost rock ballad. Next comes the literature inspired “Kerouac” which deals of course with said laureate’s effect.
The pop punk cum laude ethereal “Young Pt. 2” recalls Social Distortion and seems to lyrically deal exactly with what the title suggests, that of youth. The changeups are admirable but also odd as it slows into some sort of hymnal retrospective before returning into three chord garage rock.
Next “Luce Rossa” for all its power seems more in love with form than with anything else. Meanwhile oddly clean guitar sapped “Summer” takes such a turn that one is wondering at this point where the band is trying to take its sound. It’s followed by the chintzy and blandly orchestral “Autumn.”
"Lipstick" starts with some wonderful, soulful vocals. The song builds with intensity as it progresses. "Reel #2" feels carefree and fun. I surmise this is a favorite for a live audience. They close with the longest song on the album entitled "Lawrence". All things considered the song is pretty epic with a lot of dynamic range. It's percussion heavy and lends it self to some solid jams. Don't miss this one.
Things That Endure is a solid album with a number of notable songs. The production is great and there are a number of inspired moments littered throughout the album. One thing I noticed is that is album is really long. At thirteen tracks with a number of girthy songs the album takes some effort to fully appreciate. I'd argue that brevity maybe more effective for bands still trying to gain traction. Overall, this album is one for the win column.
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