I swear I tried to find something to get all excited and hyperbolic about this second self-titled release from the retro California band, but I couldn't quite muster the honesty.
As many of you FAME loyalists know, the first thing I always listen for is for something, a flavor, a texture, a curious hybrid or fusion of sounds, a lyrical mindset, to set a band apart from the hoary herd of well, y'know, bands, singers, bands, singers, bands. Sure I love the idea of this five piece conjuring The Band (they're named after a great Band song by the way) and The Allman Bros. with a touch of Creedence, but does it have to be so evident? Couldn't these fine musicians—David Baine, Joe Bourdet, David Burren, Brian Filosa, and Joe Zabielski—find something of their own?
I'll claim to be tin-eared from time to time, and yes 'Wolf Moon' does have that special Marshall Tucker-ish ring to it, and 'Love Is Free' does add southern rock 'n roll to an exuberant Beatle twang, but that's about all I got. I like the music to the closing Broken Spoke but I can't wrap my head around the metaphor of love and a broken spoke on a wheel—"To see the girl dance/Is to know that love is real/Passin' 'round like a broken spoke/On a spinning wheel." Maybe love makes you wobbly or something. In the end, all I can say is Whispering Pines is certainly feel good music, and that's okay for what it is.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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