Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Butcher's Blind "Destination Blues" album review

Butchers Blind come from Bellerose, New York. The band takes what has worked and been engrained in American Roots music and puts their own refreshing twist on it. It’s not all acoustic guitars and banjos, but you can definitely hear the influence of the greats that came before them in their music…but with a rock n’ roll edge. This is what is meant when people use the term “alt-country”. Their new record, Destination Blues, breaks some new ground for the fellas, but still stays true to their own roots.

Pete Mancini’s vocal has a hesitance and vulnerability to them, yet he sings with a convincing sharpness that you hang on every word. There is obvious influence from Whiskeytown (through the fiddle and guitar leads) and Wilco through the songwriting, vocal tone and rock guitar sounds. There is some strong, but accessible songwriting here.

“Tear it Down” is an energized tune with some great lines, strong harmonies and a rolling pattern that pulls you along for the ride. Another stand out is “Drowned” as it has a slower pace, with a picked mandolin and acoustic guitar. It adds a nice balance to the record. I really like when a band can mix stuff up a bit and still keep a record feeling like a complete and compressed work that all the songs fit into perfectly.

“Burn up Bright (Lower East Side)” is a tune that I am really drawn to. It has some Petty feel to it with a repeating, hammer on type lick to it over the verse. Petty, did very well for himself with this approach, so nice job in taking that and rolling with it. A nice fiddle line floats about the slow rock n’ roll instrumentation. A great tune I could see being “the hit” of this record (it also happens to be the one the guys chose to put on the queue, so I guess they feel the same).

The songs are tight, well written, and this is alt-country music at its finest. Paying homage in their own way to those that paved the way, but adding their own spin. If you dig Uncle Tupelo, The Band, or Wilco you will definitely like Butcher’s Blind.

Check out Butcher’s Blind online at:

“Butchers Blind hail from Bellerose, New York and is comprised of Pete Mancini on guitar and vocals, Paul Cianciaruso on drums and vocals, and Brian Reilly on bass.”

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