Friday, August 24, 2012

honey and darkness

The Fate & The Fruit 
- Screen Door Porch

The Fate & The Fruit is the sophomore album from Screen Door Porch, a Wyoming duo who are making a name for themselves with a unique brand of atmospheric folk roots.  The album is permeated, for the most part, with a darkly languid feel that conjures up images of sticky summer nights, when it's too hot to sleep and too still to stay out of trouble.  

The pairing of Aaron Davis and the wonderfully named Seadar Rose feels a little like a chaser of pickle juice after a long swig of bourbon - a little bit of prickly, a lot of smooth. Rose's drawling vocals have been compared to Lucinda Williams' and with just cause.The indolent sashay of her voice is spellbinding, and it is when Rose's sultry vocals take centre stage, particularly on acoustic tracks, that the album is at its strongest.

The Fate & The Fruit is sonically somewhat of a mixed success.  A trio of powerful tracks book-end each end of the album.  Devil's Honey, Needle and a Record, and Burnin' at Both Ends are powerfully lackadaisical album openers, while Westminster, Mountains are Heroes, and Long are the Days end the album on an darkly mesmerizing note that makes you want to turn around and listen to it again from the beginning.  Largely acoustic and heavily atmospheric, these songs carry an authenticity that feels timeless.  

The tracks that populate the middle half of The Fate & The Fruit forgo the traditional Americana of those songs and slide into country rock territory.  There's nothing inherently wrong with these tracks (although there are a couple of chord changes that struck me as mildly annoying), but they feel a little generic.    

For me, the real power of The Fate & The Fruit lies in those tracks that possess within their acoustic simplicity, an irresistible authenticity, a seductive darkness that begs another listen.


John Mutford said...

The sign of a good review: I just bought one of their tracks from iTunes.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Then my work here is done, John! Which track did you buy?

Allison said...

Nice review!

I'm so behind on my new music listening, but I will add them to the list.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I am madly trying to catch up on my new music listening as well, Al.