Frontier Ruckus – The Orion Songbook (2008)

On 28 October, 2008 by slowcoustic

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!


The Orion SongbookFrontier Ruckus
“Dark Autumn Hour” (mp3)
from “The Orion Songbook”
(Quite Scientific Records)

The Orion SongbookFrontier Ruckus
“Orion Town 2” (mp3)
from “The Orion Songbook”
(Quite Scientific Records)

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