BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
The Parson Red Heads seem positioned to gain favor as Americana’s foremost retro revivalists, one reason why even a single listen to any of their albums ends up as a game of name that musical reference. Sure enough, Orb Weaver finds them channeling their inner Byrds, what with the billowy harmonies, spiralling riffing and celestial trappings of ”Every Mile” and “Small Change,” each of which bring to mind The Notorious Byrd Brothers, not to mention a generous variety of McGuinn and company’s higher altitude flights of fancy. Traces of other ‘70s harmony bands of can be detected as well — Poco, Pure Prairie League, Firefall and, on the reverent ballad “Time,” CSN themselves.
Still, it would be doing the Parson Red Heads a disservice to simply imply that they’re mere revisionists. With Scott McCaughey at the helm, they show themselves to be quite capable of setting their own standard, be it with “Lost Again,” a rare detour onto power pop realms, or “Give Yourself Away,” a cerebral song cycle of sorts that bears a distinctive upward gaze. This is a sensual stuff, and if the Parson Red Heads succeed in taking the music masses by storm, they’ll likely prove they’re capable of doing so without having to clutch the tail feathers of their forebears.
DOWNLOAD: “Every Mile,” “Small Change,” “Lost Again”