The Upshot: Although there may be too much Springsteen hovering, it’s still the Oregon band’s most consistent effort.
Over the course of eight albums, Oregon’s Blitzen Trapper have seamlessly moved their sound across genres – from rock to folk to alt country to indie pop. On their latest, All Across This Land, the band is finally back to a more rock-focused sound. That’s not to say all hints of Americana have been scrubbed, but the record is the band’s most consistent indie rock record since they first started out.
By comparison, their last album, VII, was the band testing limits with experimentation blending country, funk and hip-hop managing to polarize many of their longtime fans. All Across This Land is bound to bring back any they alienated with the last go round, finding the five-piece in a much more comfortable setting while delivering some of their strongest songs to date. Even with a song title that begs an eye roll, like “Nights Were Made for Love,” they serve up a charming, Pacific Northwest-focused, Springsteen-worthy ditty of high school nostalgia (complete with lyrics about girls hanging out on car tailgates and cruising around town after football games). Similarly, “Lonesome Angle” is easily among one of the band’s best songs to date.
They play one too many Springsteen cards with the dark “Cadillac Road” (at this point, Bruce pretty much owns any lyrics that revolve around mills shutting down), but the record ends on another strong track, “Across the River.” Taken as a whole, All Across This Land is one of the group’s strongest offerings in years.
DOWNLOAD: “All Across This Land,” “Rock and Roll (Was Made for You)” and “Lonesome Angel”