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Greetings From The Neon Frontier


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  • The Nashville-based country-rockers' third full-length effort, Greetings from the Neon Frontier delivers another soulful and sonically rich set of rootsy Americana and heartland pop that goes down like a lawnmower beer. Since debuting in 2013, the Wild Feathers have skillfully straddled the line between country, pop, and rock, tipping their hats to Hank and Willie while never being shy about acknowledging their love for the Beatles, the Byrds, and the Boss. Like 2016's Lonely Is a Lifetime, Neon Frontier is a glitzy affair, but this time around it favors both style and substance. Songs about booze, heartbreak, and the highs and lows of the road are a dime a dozen, but the band manages to extract enough new blood out of the subjects to keep things relatively fresh. It's hard not to spot the influences -- "Wildfire" appropriates the easy twang of the Eagles, "Stand by You" channels "Into the Great Wide Open"-era Tom Petty, and "Hold Onto Love" may as well be a Jayhawks tune -- but the LP is elevated by some truly great performances and strong vocal work. The potential for goosebumps is raised anytime the Wild Feathers deploy their syrupy harmonies, which they do to great effect on the lovely and aptly named "Big Sky," a huge swath of sonic real estate that evokes Matthews Southern Comfort -- it also helps to have two talented lead vocalists and songwriters at the helm. Elsewhere, the folksy waltz "Two Broken Hearts," with its dreamy carousel organ, plays like a lost Beach Boys gem, while the nostalgic "Golden Days" flirts with the muscular, groove-based roots rock that's been Blitzen Trapper's forte since dropping the indie folk torch. Greetings from the Neon Frontier sees the Wild Feathers operating firmly in their comfort zone, but it also sees that zone expanding, which ultimately makes it a much more compelling listen than its predecessor. ~ James Christopher Monger
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