THE EMPERORS OF WYOMING – The Emperors of Wyoming

Album: Emperors of Wyoming

Artist: Emperors of Wyoming

Label: Liaison Music

Release Date: March 25, 2014

Emperors of Wyoming 3-25

(Liaison Music)

emperorsofwyoming.com

BY MICHAEL TOLAND

For nearly two decades, drummer/producer Butch Vig has been working with his former Fire Town bandmate Duke (né Doug) Erikson in techno rock act Garbage. Now he reconnects with Fire Town’s other singer/songwriter/guitarist Phil Davis in the Emperors of Wyoming.

A far rootsier affair than Garbage, Davis, Vig, and Anderson brothers Pete and Frank essay songs just as obsessed with melody, but with textures alluding to country and folk rather than electronica. “Brand New Heart of Stone” and “My Sweet Pinery Boy” (an adaptation of a traditional tune) traverse a trail of dark folk rock, while “Sweep Away” walks the line of C&W balladry. I’m Your Man” and “Cornfield Palace” dip into widescreen heartland rock, while “Avalanche Girl,” “Bittersweet Heart of Goodbye” and “Cruel Love Ways” hearken back to the rocking folk-pop of the parent outfit. “Drinking Man’s Town,” meanwhile, sounds strangely like a rewrite of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.” The band provides a window into more interesting influences with covers from three diverse sources: the Afghan Whigs’ “Rebirth of the Cool” (atmospheric folk rock vista), the House of Love’s “I Don’t Know Why I Love You” (Fire Town pop) and John Martyn’s “Bless the Weather” (Southwestern roots rock landscaping).

Versatile while still hewing close to their rootsy aesthetic, the Emperors of Wyoming elevate their chosen milieu to a higher state.

DOWNLOAD: “Avalanche Girl,” “My Sweet Pinery Boy,” “I’m Your Man”
 

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