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Or, the Whale

Light Poles and Pines

(Seany; US: 29 Jan 2009)

Review [6.Aug.2007]

If the Carter Family existed in the 21st century and rolled deep like Broken Social Scene or even the Wu-Tang Clan for that matter, you would have the rustic, multi-hued Opry rock of California’s Or, the Whale. The San Francisco-based group’s debut album, Light Poles and Pines, is a beautiful slice of traditionalist country rock that is more Smoky Mountains than Big Sur in spite of the group’s city of origin, with just a hint of indie snark to appeal to the Pitchfork crowd. Fans of Clem Snide will eat up the romantic whine of frontman Alex Robins on tracks like “St. Bernard” and the chanty-esque “Life and Death at Sea”. No Depression fans, take note.

Rating:

Ron Hart is currently enjoying his 11th year as a professional music journalist. In addition to PopMatters, he has also written for such publications as CMJ, Billboard.com, SPIN.com, The Village Voice, Gear, Paper, SHOUT NY, Paperthinwalls.com, Blender, Yellow Rat Bastard, Good Times, Paste, and Barnesandnoble.com among others. He is also the editor and publisher of the Interboro Rock Tribune, a free NYC music zine now in its 6th year in print. Please give us traffic on our website at http://www.irtmag.com.


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17 Sep 2009
Or, the Whale succeed where others in the country-rock genre have failed: they keep things very, very authentic.
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