Paradise of Bachelors has had some great success recently with excellent records by acts like Steve Gunn and Hiss Golden Messenger. Gunn is thoughtful and road-weary, while Hiss Golden Messenger presents a worn, dusty sort of soul. Promised Land Sound is a scrappy, youthful shift to all those elements. These Nashville players — from bands like JEFF the Brotherhood, PUJOL, and others — knock out brisk, country-rock tunes that might make a young Gram Parsons kneel down and pray.
Of course, country-rock might oversimplify the dynamic sound that gives us the sweet, bouncy hooks of “The Storm”, the somber hope and resonant echoes of “Make It Through the Fall”, the bluesy stomp of “Wandering Habits”, and so on. This is a record that revels in tradition, pays faithful tribute to it, but never feels revivalist. Other, more spacious tracks like “Weed and Wine” or the surprisingly expansive closer “Fadin’ Fast”, may slow the blistering pace, but they still — like everything here — pulse with young blood. This is a vibrant and exciting rock record, one that finds this young band finding its own voice by honoring (and sometimes matching) its forefathers. As they press forward and assert even more of their own personality into these airtight odes to both personal geography and wanderlust, Promised Land Sound is only going to get stronger. Watch out.