Bemoaning guitar and rueful lyrics yield an underwhelming effort after the fast-paced country rock of 2010's Always Been a Bleeder EP.
Sometimes divorce does great things for artists. Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. Springsteen's Tunnel of Love. Even Ben Harper gave his best effort in a long while with this year's Give Til It's Gone. For Efren's Scott Low, though, divorce just plain sucks.
Two years ago, the Georgia-based band made an album primarily comprised of grainy acoustic tracks in the vein of Iron and Wine's The Creek Drank the Cradle. Then a year later, the tables turned when they cranked out Charlie Daniels-esque, yipped-up Southern rock on their EP. Yet now, Rise on Up and Melt merely exhibits Low's lamentations as he crawls back into a corner again. If you dig Eels, you won't mind the frontman's demons (his voice resembles Mark E's), but after last year's effort, this record is incredibly underwhelming. Once Low signs the papers, he'll hopefully clear his head with some upbeat Americana. Efren sound better when jamming.