[28 February 2008]
Hailing from New Jersey, Demolition String Band infuse their fourth record with enough spirit, swagger and country swing to make you swear they’ve lived a thousand lifetimes in the heart of the Bible Belt. The band’s exuberance and style is personified by vocalist Elena Skye, whose sound resembles folk rock empresses of the late ‘60s. Her bandmates weave the soul of the ‘60s into their country/bluegrass hybrid. When at their best, the group seems to add something new to the stylistic world they inhabit (tracks like “Wisteria,” “Baby Come Home” and the instrumental “Boonanza”). However, though Skye’s pluck and presence are in great supply, there are too many times when she’s not able to rescue mediocre lyrics. Too much of the verse contained on the album quickly devolves into cliché (see the comfortable ground which is tread on “I Wanna Wear White”, “Letters” or “Real Good Mama”) or something simply confounding: Skye sings, “Nothing I could have could be more than what you could want from me” on the otherwise enjoyable “Your Wish”. While the album’s instrumental parts are played with precision and flair, they too can tend toward country riffing that some listeners will be all-too-familiar with. There is a wealth of talent on Different Kinds of Love, but not always a wealth of execution.