Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Review: The Lonely Forest "We Sing the Body Electric!"

The Lonely Forest hail from Anacortes, WA, proximal to the city that altered the musical landscape in the 90s with grunge rock. There is still some grunge and garage rock in the veins of these boys, but like Nirvana, plenty of pop intuition as well. In fact, their latest effort (set for release on April 21, 2009), "We Sing The Body Electric!" builds from the grunge and pop fusion that worked so well with the aforementioned Seattle legend. In fact, Jack Endino, who has worked with Nirvana, has been drawn to work with The Lonely Forest.

The Lonely Forest deserve credit for steering clear of rock cliches and stale melodies - these guys are inventive. I think this is going to thrill indie pop rock fans, but for the readers who entrust me to recommend melodic rock, the pickings on this release are few and far between. By far and away, the best track is "We Sing in Time", one of the catchiest and instantly likable tunes of the year so far. I have hit replay so many times after this track that my index finger is numb. A CD full of tracks more like "We Sing in Time" will probably take these guys to the next level and get them some big time crossover success.

To my ears, there are a lot of late 90s overtones in The Lonely Forest, whose songs skillfully fuse garage, indie, grunge, and alternate rock with some punk thrown in for good measure. Vocalist John Van Deusen has a curious tone that reminds me of Coldplay or The Fray, but with considerably more gusto and attitude to match his band's unique sound. He's also one hell of piano player, and it is refreshing to hear it dominate on tracks like "Julia's Song" and "Tomato Soup". For fans of Cracker, Flickerstick, and early Jimmy Eat World, you will find solace under the canopy of The Lonely Forest.

iPOD-worthy: 2, 3, 10, 11

The Lonely Forest on MySpace. Official site.

Check out a video of "We Sing in Time":

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