These United States

These United States

United Interests, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


These United States is undoubtedly one of the hardest working bands in the business. Since 2008, the Brooklyn, Denver, and North Carolina outfit have put out five albums and played over 800 shows. And though they haven’t seen much mainstream success, they’ve built a cult-like following with their high energy live shows and warm, lush version of folk and Americana-inspired rock ‘n’ roll.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

For their latest outing, the band stuck to their jangly and upbeat blend of indie-rock-meets-country twang, penning songs that are as fitting for the campfire as they are for a rowdy night at the bar. Frontman Jesse Elliott possesses a voice not unlike John Fogerty, and during songs like “Two Gods,” it’s not hard to envision him as a more youthful descendant of Creedence Clearwater Revival. The band let their country influences seep through on tracks like “Not Gone Tonight,” but turn the volume up on “The Angel’s Share,” a charged, reckless track. Even though much of the disc moves at a quick tempo, it also finds more sparse avenues to tread with the calm “Miss Underground,” and the album ends on the very forthright, confessional “Never Stop Falling,” where Elliott reveals that he will never stop falling in love.

With the many references to places and the often hazy, psych-rock ebbs, even without knowing the band’s history, it becomes pretty clear in their songcraft that travel is a big part of their lives. There is a very laidback, carefree vibe to these tunes, and the band’s rustic melodies and gorgeous pedal steel are ideal for a long drive to nowhere in particular.

Including help from members of Deer Tick, The Mynabirds, Phosphorescent, Langhorne Slim, and Revival, this album was birthed on the road and recorded in numerous locations between the coasts. Featuring a kaleidoscope of sounds ranging from psych-pop to folk ballads to back-porch anthems, These United States injects their patented quirky yet lovable twist on yet another fantastic album. While most bands who fall in this category of music are wallowing in self-pity about their bad fortune, Elliott and company take a more optimistic view and relay fun, positive energy.

Rating: B+

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© 2012 Tom Haugen 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 United Interests, and is used for informational purposes only.