[20 May 2007]
No One Will Know Where You’ve Been, the Roadside Graves’s third album, and first for Brooklyn imprint Kill Buffalo, proves that you don’t have to come from deep in the pines to play gut-wrenching folk ‘n’ country. Hailing from the same neck of the woods as the E-Street Band, whose influence, although minimal, is most apparent on opener “Family and Friends”, these seven Jersey boys traverse a winding path between expressive story-songs of haunting melancholia like “Women In Black”, narrated by the ghost of a car accident and an heart-rending account of a miscarriage on “Oh Boy, It’s a Girl”, to the life-affirming lyrics “I’ve got a heart that won’t quit, won’t break / No matter what you do” on the effervescent jangle-pop of lead single “West Coast” which pays tribute to the ties that bind. But what sets this album apart from earlier Graves recordings is the more expansive arrangements on the majority of cuts here. John Gleason’s gravel-inflected vocals still sound as downbeat as ever and guitarist Jeremy Benson continues to lend his rough-hewn harmonies to the mix, although now they build upon these solid foundations with layered guitars, vibrant accordion and underscored by a gloriously upbeat hammond organ played by Mike DeBlasio.