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Blitzen Trapper - All Across This Land (Review)

Blitzen Trapper, All Across This Land

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

PORTLAND, Oregon rock quintet Blitzen Trapper may have been known for their ability to mix music styles in recent years but their eighth LP, All Across This Land, stays true to their classic American rock roots throughout. And it works a treat.

The sort of offering that’s tailor-made for driving along to, it’s also reminiscent of the work of classic American song-smiths such as Tom Petty, both in terms of guitar sound and husky vocals. Again, that’s no bad thing.

Vocalist and songwriter Eric Earley is the key reason for this but it arguably plays to the strengths of lead guitarist Erik Menteer, thereby enabling him to deliver some blistering solos.

On a track like Rock And Roll (Was Made For You), for instance, there is some exhilarating guitar work to be found, particularly late on. But it works supremely well in tandem with Earley’s gruff vocal style and a chorus that’s ripe for singing along with.

When shifting from straight-ahead rock into country-tinged territory, Blitzen Trapper also excel. Love Grow Cold, for instance, is a charmer of a track that slickly combines country twangs with bittersweet lyrics and heartfelt vocals. It’s the kind of track that both Petty or Dire Straits would be proud to lay claim to and has a reassuring vibe attached.

There’s some delicious use of harmonica on Lonesome Angel, which augments another country-tinged ballad, while the spirit of Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen and some ’80s era Brat pack soundtracks hangs over the catchy toe tapper that is Nights Were Made For Love (cheesy lyrics aside).

And that driving vibe we mentioned is all over both Cadillac Road and All Across This Land, which exemplify Blitzen Trapper’s command of their craft and obvious enjoyment for delivering it. These are tracks that are steeped in character.

Indeed, the album offers up a veritable treat for fans of the classic American sound from start to finish, culminating with a slow burning highlight with the tender Across The River, which again ushers in some harmonica to augment the involving lyrics and subtle guitar work. It’s a fine end to a fine album.

Download picks: Rock And Roll (Was Made For You), Nights Were Made For Love, All Across This Land, Love Grow Cold, Across The River

Track listing:

  1. All Across This Land
  2. Rock and Roll (Was Made For You)
  3. Mystery and Wonder
  4. Love Grow Cold
  5. Lonesome Angel
  6. Nights Were Made For Love
  7. Cadillac Road
  8. Let the Cards Fall
  9. Even If You Don’t
  10. Across The River