NEAR ENOUGH RECORDS
The latest album from the prolific Queensland alt-country band led by singer-songwriter Kyle Jenkins continues their stunning and world class run of releases. It’s also their last album under the SS name. From now on the band, now a quartet, will be known was Mt. Morning.
Each of their albums takes a different dusty back road or inner city laneway through confessional songs of people and places. Here they frame their songs with tough and tender instrumentation. One minute there are gnarled electric guitars, the next a mournful violin or a tapestry of piano notes. Stylistically, think Dylan and Paul Kelly jamming with the Felice Brothers and you’re close to the mark as the band blend nervy, wordy analysis and introspection with woodsy, lilting folk and melancholic, ragged alt-country.
Reservations feels like the most balanced of their albums, a sonically and poetically consistent set from start to finish. At its mid point is the thrilling and taut scattershot country shakedown of ‘13th Floor (Alabam)’, It’s followed by the exquisite and churning ‘Wish Bone’ a song that seems to search for identity and one’s place in the world. Opener ‘You Should’ve’ is a raw assessment of a friend or lover at fault, while ‘Breathe’ flips the coin from blame to encouragement over a beautiful cornucopia of plucked strings and the heady, swaying rhythm section. This is an album that seems to question and accept the contradictions of the world and affairs of heart, and keep moving on, eyes to the horizon with a soul full of good intent.