(Blind Pigeon Records)
It turns out all the hand-wringing about the death of guitar bands was a little premature. On their fourth effort, Gleasons Drift prove riff-heavy barroom rock is still alive and thriving. Based out of the coal region of Northeast Pennsylvania, just a little north of Philly, the band play straight forward rock, reminiscent of everyone from The Replacements to Springsteen in his less moody periods. It’s seems pretty appropriate that the band share the same hometown as Yuengling beer, both are unpretentious, comfortable and accessible to everyone.
Their self-titled album is not as experimental as 2010’s Blythe Township Mellencamp, but is a lot easier to get into, blending loud guitars and drums with relatable tales of romance, heartbreaks and hanging out. But the same things that makes their music so relatable in the first place, the familiarity and uncomplicated songs, ends up making the album feel a bit monotonous after a while. While it’s sure to be embraced by longtime fans, the self-titled album may be a little too routine to attract many new listeners. (John B. Moore)