ATO Records, 2012


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


You've got to hand it to ATO Records. The label has been a powerhouse of recruiting bands on the softer, soulful side of rock 'n' roll, providing a place for new outfits as well as giving older ones a new lease on life. In some ways, they have done both with Everest; while they are still a newer name to most, the band was reeling from a fallout with Warner Brothers when they found a kindred spirit in ATO. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

With their roots firmly planted in indie rock circles (founder Russell Pollard played with Sebadoh, The Folk Implosion, and Earlimart), and having already shared the stage with My Morning Jacket and Wilco, surprisingly the onset of this third Everest album stemmed from creative indecisiveness. Only after locking themselves up with Richard Swift in Oregon for weeks did the album begin to form, which was later finished with Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck) in LA.

The end result is undoubtedly the band's most democratic listen. Each member contributed their own ideas that were fleshed out together. Though the band has often been lumped into the alt-country tag, which certainly does describe their sound on some level, they often flirt with many other influences along the way. "Rapture" shows traces of classic rock mixed in with the pop spirit, while a track like "Into The Grey" exemplifies their indie rock lineage well. "Raking Me Over The Coals" is one of the more ambitious efforts here, a psych-rock tune that is both hazy and subdued and uses the organ to its advantage. "Letter" is the quietest moment, a vintage sounding alt-rock track that seems strategically placed between louder, driving tempos.

An accomplished rock 'n’ roll outing with plenty of Americana, '90s college rock similarities, and many experimental ideas, Ownerless is an ideal addition to a collection that has anything from Uncle Tupelo, Calexico, or even The Jayhawks.

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 ATO Records, and is used for informational purposes only.