The idea of rock bands being stylistically stuck in the 90s does not, at this point in my life, appeal to me, but when I was recently introduced to The Lonely Forest, I found a notable exception to my rule. The Seattle-area natives released a very solid album earlier this year, provocatively entitled We Sing the Body Electric, a record that brings to mind the alternative rock of a decade (or so) ago blended with more modern 'indie' influences as well as bits of classic rock and psychedelia. The result is a dynamic and exciting set of fifteen tracks varying in speed and intensity but consistently impressing at every turn, which should help to extend the band's influence beyond their home state where they've made quite a name for themselves.
Immediate standout and first single, "We Sing In Time" reveals The Lonely Forest's appeal early in the proceedings. It's a fairly standard alt-rock song in structure, but the band hits all the right sweet spots and turn it into a clap-and-singalong tune of epic proportion. The frantic drums, chugging guitars, and singer John Van Deusen earnestly and melodically wailing one of this year's biggest choruses makes this an easy pick for best track on the album. The band follows a similar pattern on several of the record's tunes, especially the earlier cuts, though they try their hand a variety of stylistic variations with success. "Tomato Soup" is a gorgeous piano ballad and duet, "Borders and Towns" leans toward more straightforward punk rock, and the beautiful closer "Mt. Constitution" opens with a vocal-only intro before transitioning into a drum-heavy march.
We Sing the Body Electric is almost too grand in its ambition at a lengthy 53 minutes, but aside from a couple less than spectacular tracks, the material is very strong and worth taking the time to absorb in its entirety. These guys will definitely be on my radar going forward, and I suggest you get yourself introduced as well. Download "We Sing In Time" from the new album below and visit the group at MySpace to hear more.
We Sing In Time (MP3)