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Album Review

Towards the middle of the '00s, the overblown fascination with Detroit garage rock that invested half the population of the U.K. smoldered and cooled itself a bit. In its wake came a small group of bands that focused on making intensely detailed records with meaningful lyrics, good songwriting, and quality production values. Within that group (largely based in the comfy confines of Ann Arbor, MI, forty miles west of Detroit), we find Porchsleeper finally and firmly planting their roots and coming into full bloom with a fully realized sound that narrowly escaped them on their debut. The formula, tried and true, remains the same: catchy songs that aren't hindered down in complexity or pretense; owing equal parts to '70s arena rock, country, and its bastard child, the alt country renaissance. But the difference between this record and their first is a fuller, richer sound that jumps out of the speakers and was mixed to be played loudly — owing, in part, to seasoned producer Jim Roll behind the mixing board. Right from the opening strums of "Nineteen Seventy Two" to grand finale "Johnny and Joyce" (whose lyrics and Zeppelin-esque coda are probably the top moments in their catalog so far) the group furiously chugs along from one song to another, fueled in equal parts by Mountain Dew, Jack Daniels, and cheap beer, taking a break only a few times to catch their breath with a few acoustic numbers. Equally as impressive is the lack of Andy Rooney commentary about the youth of today, save for a four-minute pit stop with the humorous but venomous "Garage"; an ode to the posing garage rockers of today. From start to finish, Porchsleeper is one of those quintessential summer drinking records for those who like their rock to do just that: rock.

Porchsleeper, Porchsleeper
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