• Review

Album Review: Warrick & Lowell Absinthe Nights

Country music, possibly more than any other genre, is well-suited for families to perform together – think the Carters or the Louvins. The earthy simplicity of the songs and the stories in the lyrics work well when you grow up singing after a Sunday supper. So, when brothers J. Warrick and R. Lowell Ford decided to combine their heretofore separate acts into one, in the grand context of the country blues and honky tonk they came to play, it made perfect sense.

The ease with which the brothers’ voices blend is evident onAbsinthe Nights, the latest release from the aptly-named Warrick & Lowell. Absinthe is the band’s second full-length release, and where their self-titled debut was a little rough around the edges, Warrick & Lowell have polished the songs and sound up a little bit, and developed a sound that is newer and richer, but still authentically them.

From the count-in to start the album’s opener “Viral Love,” you get a sense that you’re in for a fun ride, and it might be time to roll down the windows and pick a road on the map. The guitars sparkle like a rhinestone suit on “Still Believe.” Tracks like “Snow’s Lake” and “Banker’s Blues” show off the rock side of the band’s range, while “Some Kind of Lightning” and “Heaven Knows” show a quieter introspective side that really add to the overall dynamics of the album. The closer, “Fever Dream,” wraps everything up in a nice “twangy guitar and sawin’ fiddle” bow for a nice classic country closer.

In all, Absinthe Nights is a great follow-up for a band that seems to have a great idea of what they’re about and where they’re going. If you liked their self-titled debut, you’ll like this, too. If you haven’t heard either, check them out. Many bands suffer from a “sophomore slump,” but nowhere from the count-in to the final chord does any slump show. If album #2 is this good, I can’t wait for album #3.

Track List:

  1. Viral Love
  2. Still Believe
  3. Heaven Knows
  4. Snow’s Lake
  5. Some Kind of Lightning
  6. Time to Texas
  7. Upstream Towns
  8. Like a Fire
  9. Junkie
  10. Banker’s Blues
  11. Fever Dream