If you want high energy bluegrass with instrumental chops and great melodies, try this album.
Get a Life, the debut album from Seattle’s Warren G. Hardings, trods well-worn bluegrass territory, but does it with high energy and great songwriting. Highlights include the opener “Treehouse” and closer “Drifting”. The former features a compelling narrative about a boy refusing to come out of his treehouse while his parents fight, complete with a fierce punk-style chorus full of “Whooaaa”s, while the latter has a top-notch sing-along melody with excellent “where is my life going” lyrics devoid of woe-is-me angst.
In between, the band goes from the silliness of “High and Low”, a fantasy about the perfect girl that mandolinist Gabriel Marowitz has yet to find, to the melancholy of “Anonymous Waltz”, a ballad about a lost love. “Post-Suburban Recession-Era Blues” has some compelling on-purpose out of tune guitar before settling into its sardonic refrain, “Don’t need a girl / Don’t need a dog / Just wanna watch hockey and have a day job.” Vocalist/guitarist Dave Zelonka sings throughout the album with a passion that even makes the traditionalist “Darling” ring with the feeling of truth. This is a great record and hopefully it will help the Warren G. Hardings develop an audience outside of their Pacific Northwest stomping grounds.