Doghouse, 2007

REVIEW BY: Darren Paltrowitz


The difference between alt-country and country music today? Generally speaking, alt-country rockers write their own songs and look cooler. Or so observing bands like Limbeck tells me.

The fourth full-length from the Orange County quartet, Limbeck has kicking around the indie scene since 1999. Limbeck's self-titled disc finds the band working with producer Ed Rose (Motion City Soundtrack, Appleseed Cast, The Get Up Kids) for the fourth time. And ultimately what's to be expected is more of same twang, relaxed hooks and road-inspired lyrics.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

In many ways, Limbeck's latest is simply refreshing. Hearing a lyric like "What's wrong with having a good time?" on the eighth track, "Let's Get Crazy," is wonderful in spite of today's troublesome times. There is nothing "emo" about any of the 11 songs to be found on the album. In whole, there is no screaming, there's no forced guitar-shredding, and there's not a detuned guitar to be found. It literally sounds like a collection of songs that were handled with care -- Traveling Wilburys references aside -- and preserved from demo-form, minus the occasional bell and/or whistle. Musicianship itself is never at a question as you're not hearing vocals that were clearly auto-tuned or triple-tracked, or guitar parts that are 100 percent based on barre chords; instead, walking bass-lines and varied drum fills are commonplace.

Where the album could improve would be in its inclusion of more varied material. Even to the untrained ear, many -- if not most -- of the songs carry the same tempo. On your first or second listen, you may find yourself wondering whether you're four songs in or 10 songs in. Yet the fact that one can get lost in the music requires giving the band credit for creating a vibe and maybe even coming up with a recognizable sound. As a musical litmus test, you'll want to try the vintage-sounding second track "Big Drag" to determine whether or not Limbeck is for you.

For fans of: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Whiskeytown, The Traveling Wilburys...but also any laid-back indie-rock artists.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Darren Paltrowitz and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Doghouse, and is used for informational purposes only.