28 Jan 2013
Arbouretum "Coming Out Of The Fog" Review
Baltimore's Arbouretum has always made big, heavy psych-rock, and with "Coming Out of the Fog", they've continued that trend, but they push the boundaries of rock without going into heavy jam-out territory, as they have on previous records. Thus, the sound of this rather brief album ranges from the soft and sublime to the overbearingly heavy. Vocalist Dave Hermann has a style that is gritty and raw and haunting, but is, curiously, more Peter Murphy than Neil Young. That being the case, Neil Young's Crazy Horse is a natural point of comparison, especially on the barbed-wired tough "The Promise" and "World Split Open," as the sunburned, stoned melodies clearly share DNA with "Zuma" and "Tonight's the Night".
Though they can do loud and heavy quite well, they're also masters of subtle beauty; "Oceans Don't Sing," is a simple, sorrowful country-blues weeper, and when Hermann sings "Everyone says it'll come to an end/Oh, but oceans don't sing of impossible things," you believe him.
Better still is the title track that closes out the album, a dusty, solemn number that is accentuated with sad piano and even sadder pedal steel. It has all the power and feel of the end of a tragic western; close your eyes and you can easily imagine credits rolling. It's a nice ending, and after the rough and heavier moments that preceded it, it's a calming balm. "Coming Out of the Fog" is a masterful blend of heavy and soft, and shows that the fellows of Arbouretum have quietly become masters of the genre.
Available here on Vinyl and here on CD.