I swear to god, if I hear one more “we’re from the mountains” folk band I’m going to lose my shit. There can’t be this many bands from the Appalachian Mountains. There aren’t enough people living in the Appalachian Mountains for there to be so many bands from there. Maybe everyone has left the mountains and now they’re all empty. In which case, hey! More moonshine for me I guess.
Langhorne Slim Sounds like Bob Dylan being backed up by the Dropkick Murphys, if the Dropkick Murphys were feeling tired and Bob Dylan wasn’t that talented. Langhorne is good enough, but their new album The Way We Move is missing that central spark that most folk and sixties revival bands have.
The first track, like the album, doesn’t seem to go anywhere. You nod after the first few songs with the understanding that there is a heavy sixties/seventies influence mixed with folk, but unlike other successful revival bands Langhorne doesn’t really do anything with their retro genre. The bass and banjo lines in Bad Luck are solid, but after fifteen seconds you’ve pretty much heard everything the tracks have to offer. The bass is most definitely the best part of the entire work. It’s well produced, well played, and well placed. The Way We Move seems well produced and is technically sound but you won’t be thrown any curve balls in this album. But those are the only real qualities of Langhorne’s new piece.
“Fire” is the only track that seems to evolve. Its horn section is solid and the chorus delivers. The piano solo sounds full (more so than track 1’s piano diddle). Meanwhile the lead singer isn’t trying to be Bob Dylan. This is a move that works well for him and the song as a whole. This is about as good as The Way We Move gets. Songs like Fire and Salvation are nice enough, but the album as a whole just isn’t very gripping and pales in comparison to other retro soulful bands like Francis and the Lights or Fitz and The Tantrums. But Langhorne Slim has the right idea. If your gift isn’t very good best to wrap it up nice and pretty to make up for it.