I have to admit I got a wee bit excited when I was on Fowler’s Bluff Bandcamp page and read that they describe their music as “swampy psychedelic southern rock.“ T. Rider McBride (vocals, bass guitar, rhythm guitar), Michael Todd (vocals, keyboard, grand piano, rhythm guitar), George Eckerle (guitar, EBow) and Chad Mairn (drums, percussion, vocals) completely deliver upon their description and then some on their second effort entitled Confluence.
First things first. This album is exceptional for many reasons but let’s starts with the production. All the songs were recorded and produced by Steve Rosicky at Blacktoe Studio in Seminole, FL and the results are fantastic. I was thoroughly impressed by the way they implemented reverb, the drum sound and a whole laundry list of things I could go on about. Suffice it to say the production greatly benefited the songwriting and delivery.
That southern rock style they mention is immediately apparent on the opening track “Leave This City.” The band doesn’t waste any time rocking out and bearing comparisons to My Morning Jacket. I was on board with the vocal harmonies and the chaotic drumming. It’s a great opener that gets you amped for the rest of the album.
Next up was “Bandog,” which revolves around a great vocal performance. I was attracted to the unique nuances in Mcbride’s voice. He owns it and I thought the slight distortion was a beneficial effect. The climax comes about three- and-a-half-minutes in where they seamlessly add more reverb and a slight delay to his vocals.
“Old Guitar” is where I started hearing hints of Pink Floyd. The band reaches for the sky on this and gets to a boiling point that involves an unending snare roll and an array of sounds that sounded like a sheet of white noise.
The band continues their winning streak with “Lazy Anxious,” which reminded me of Super Furry Animals and “Confluence.” They close with an emotional resonant song entitled “Heavy Meddle.” The inventive lyrics are delivered with heartfelt emotion that will crack the most jaded of personalities. Mcbride sings, “Just worry 'bout your own life / and I'll worry 'bout mine / you think we're from the same town / but I'm from miles and miles / I'll tell you my story / but not a word out loud.”
Confluence contains very few flaws and was an absolute treat to listen to. Fowler’s Bluff has certainly gained a new fan and hopefully many more with this review.
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