BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Eight albums on, you’d think American Aquarium might be better known by now. Self-deprecation to the contrary, this Raleigh North Carolina-based outfit are the kind of craftsmen that deserve more notice, if only for their enduring perseverance. True to form, both resolute and introspective, this latest effort finds the band offering up an ode to regret and remorse in ways that are unceasingly compelling.
While singer/songwriter BJ Barham spends much of his time lamenting things he’s not — a dancer, a boxer, a sailor, a responsible family man, certainly not the Rolling Stones — he compensates by sharing a resolve and determination to persevere regardless. From the solemn stance of “Family Problems” and the self-doubt and sadness filling “Man I’m Supposed to Be” and “Losing Side of Twenty-Five,” to the staunch deliberation that fills “Southern Sadness,” “Wichita Falls” and the title track, Wolves provides a remarkable postscript on lessons that are hard learned and hopes that still somehow survive. Robust even in its moments of despair, Wolves provide proof the Southern spirit still remains as indomitable and driven as ever.
DOWNLOAD: “Man I’m Supposed to Be,” “Losing Side of Twenty-Five,” “Wolves”