The Highway

CD Name: 
Forest People
Music Link:
Album Cover URL:
<p>Psychedelic swirling lures, introducing <em>Forest People</em> with atmospheric effects, slide guitar and nebulous, distant vocals.&nbsp; It builds softly before dropping dead into one crunchy, snarled-lip guitar lick.&nbsp; The band kicks it aside with the verse, Daniel Tortoledo's vocals immediately in the high-register, the rhythm guitar jiving like 70's funk.&nbsp; It's as hypnotizing an opener as this listener has encountered in a <em>very </em>long time.&nbsp; But The Highway, much as the name suggests, isn't content to idle in one place.&nbsp; &quot;Frozen Sun&quot; cruises away from a desert sunset and a troubled past; there's defeat in the lyrics, but it's accepted, calm, soothed by the breeze and the knowledge that tomorrow is a new day.&nbsp; The title track reminds what a spell a well thought out chord progression and back-up vocals can weave - it's a stunning, down-tempo meditation.&nbsp; &quot;Song for the World&quot; is utterly beautiful; if you're the type to let music touch you, this one will, and it's thanks to plumb ingenious song-writing:&nbsp; An entrancingly bittersweet opening gives way to one hell of a surprising French interlude (yes, both linguistically and musically); the song loops back on itself, gaining weight and fleshing out, and by the end, you might not know whether to laugh, cry, or sing along - even though they've switched languages again, this time to Spanish.&nbsp; Now, I know I'm a bit of a sap, but the raw emotionality of the record is worth noting because it's a field in which psychedelically-minded rock 'n roll rarely succeeds.&nbsp; But it's rock and roll, after all, so fear not if you just want to put your fist in the air - there's attitude in abundance, sharp and edgy soloing, inspired rhythm changes; hell, there's even a sing-along drum-and-vocal break.&nbsp; There's still some residue of the &quot;rock is dead&quot; prophesying, some grumbling that rock and roll is all, at this point, recycled goods, and that the new breed of rock is not really &quot;rock&quot; so much as indie, as experimental, as post-this or that-core.&nbsp; Buy <em>Forest People</em>.&nbsp; And then buy it for anyone you know who buys <em>that</em> sh*t.<br /> - <em>Cullen Corley</em></p>