Ain’t It Strange
May 18th 2012
The Dead Winter Carpenters’ sophomore release is truly a giant leap from their 2010 debut self titled album. Their growth as a band documented on disc. Ain’t It Strange is filled with well written and executed songs backed by strong vocal harmonies, surrounded by a bevy of rock-grass loaded tracks that are rooted deeply within the themes of travel, love and old time jigs. Americana or something close to it, this album stations itself as a moving musical time-capsule. With old-time bass rhythms and melody driven fiddle jams that are seamlessly bridged with full sounding electric guitar solos the constant and undeniable drumming of Ryan Davis ricochets throughout.
The thread that keeps this album together is the well written songs: musically and lyrically. The harmonies between Jesse Dunn and Jenni Charles are pure and crisp, with his vocals carrying a country feel and her’s a sweet yet unforgiving bluegrass tone. Sean Duerr’s vocals are delivered with less twang and more purity yet again Charles matches and the rolling harmonies therein balance the solidity of the music from track to track.
From the soft sounding story that becomes the opening song “Find Your Home” to the wide open love song –“Tahoe Gal” with its “Not Fade Away-esq”refrains. The Dead Winter Carpenters bridge the gap across the country and genre with the up-tempo bluegrass jam vehicles “Cabin Fever” and continue with their signature ragtime sound during the fiddle/drum heavy “I Shot Him”. While the album is a fiery throwback to times of old the sound and production quality is second to none. At times some songs feel as if they run somewhat short, but all in all Ain’t It Strange is a musical treat to see the Dead Winter Carpenters, known for their fiery live shows, produce and release a studio album that is equally hot, just not too hot to handle.