Sunday, December 11, 2011

Album Review: Richmond Fontaine - Miles From

Richmond Fontaine’s second album, released in 1997 has fewer distinct tracks than their debut, and a more pronounced country feel, with the addition of Paul Brainard’s steel guitar.

Opening track Trembling Leaves is a midtempo electric strum in the vein of the material on Safety, while Give Me Time is an optimistic sounding tune. You can hear early signs of how the band would develop on albums like Post to Wire on this one, with Willy Vlautin’s odd chorus of “give me boiler makers, give me time.”

The title track is a somewhat darker, brooding affair but in truth none of the lyrics indicate that the protagonists are having anything other than a rough time. Instrumental Grandview comes as something of a relief, and a pause for breath, giving Brainard’s wonderfully evocative steel guitar a chance to take centre stage.

Elsewhere, the hesitant Collapse stops and starts uneasily before the mood is lightened with the breezy Lemonheads-style Calm. Later tracks like Blinding Sight, White Out and Concussion are a little indistinguishable from each other, though the latter features some fine six-string abuse.

Not sure how this one stands up with Richmond Fontaine’s later albums.