I have been trying to hold back on this post for a couple of weeks until it was closer to the album’s release (I don’t know why), but I have to post already! So here we have Frontier Ruckus’ first full length album and it has been well worth the wait. Spectacular down home traditional backwoods folk that I (and you) can get behind.
I have been listening to Frontier Ruckus for a couple of years now, ever since their EP “I am the Water You Are Pumping” blew me away in early 2007. I believe it was actually released in 2006 locally, but hey I am in Canada here people!! The EP quickly became my favourite EP for the year and in fact shares many tracks from this “Songbook” collection – if not just a touch less polished. So the full release as “The Orion Songbook” (pronounced Ore-Eee-Un, not O-Rye-Un) picks up where the EP left off. There is a lot of music here, so if you are new to Frontier Ruckus, you will have a full 14 tracks to acquaint yourself with.
If I had to describe the music, I would have to say it could be a less orchestral Horse Feathers. Both bands have that “Appalachian Mountain” Folk feel, with use of banjo, acoustic guitar and harmonies – you get beautiful albums from both artists (which might also be the reason both albums will be on my top 10 for the year list – soon people, the list will emerge). One additional difference between the two would be the vocals – while Justin Ringle from Horse Feathers relies on a soft and delicate delivery, Matthew Milia brings a bit of a punch with his vocal style. Milia’s voice is unique, strong and delicate at the same time – think of the quiet moments of Jeff Mangum from Neutral Milk Hotel – not for everyone, but damn it’s good.
For role call in Frontier Ruckus, we have Matthew Milia, David Jones, Zachary Nichols, Ryan Etzcorn and Anna Burch. These 5 players are going somewhere as this is the music you want to listen to, it has it all – great folk sounds, great lyrics and actual well structured songs – sounds basic, but really listen, the songs performed here are complete and whole – you know they were thought out, evolved over time to being just right. So, yeah, I like the band, I am sure if you already noticed.
I have a couple of label approved tracks from the new album for “Dark Autumn Hour” and a re-post of “Orion Town 2”. Also, because I like you all, I have also included a demo of my current favourite from the album “Animals Need Animals”. AND the love doesn’t stop there, a lesser known un-released track from their truly great website entitled “One-Story-Carport-Houses”. Remember to get a copy of the album from eMusic if you can’t wait, but the album should be hitting the shelves next week!