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Superior alt. country from Dublin's heartland
Colm O Hare, 25 May 2012
There has always been a keen audience for homegrown Americana on this side of the Atlantic. This Dublin four-piece have been quietly working the local live circuit over the past few years to appreciative crowds.
Their debut Gavin Glass-produced album certainly lives up to their deserved live reputation: the songs here reek of an authenticity that is not easy to summon up for those not born and bred in the land of the hickory wind. And despite the lack of a truly distinctive vocalist, they have managed to create a record that demonstrates an impressive knowledge of the genre. They wear their country rock and alt. country influences very much on their collective sleeve. ‘Open Road’ recalls Jackson Browne’s classic ‘These Days’, while the epic, guitar-fuzzed, slow-burner ‘Stars Appear’ is heavily influenced by Neil Young’s golden period with Crazy Horse (think ‘Cortez The Killer’ or ‘Like A Hurricane’). Elsewhere, they demonstrate an impressive instrumental versatility and an ability to switch from quiet to loud with a dramatic flourish (‘All The Love’, ‘Approaching Rain’), while the more experimental ‘Bury My Bones’ sonically explores the kind of gothic Americana found in Cormac McCarthy novels.
The album is heavily weighted towards the quieter side of American music and it’s here that The Quicksand Band shine brightly. The gorgeously lilting ballad, ‘Learning’, which calls to mind Wilco’s more introspective eclecticism, features some lovely guitar and keyboard interplay while the yearning ‘That Voice’ – yet another gorgeous country rock ballad – stands out as a particular highlight. A welcome surprise.