ALBUM REVIEW – “Power Lines” by Mustered Courage

It can easily be said that, at the very least, one can just be glad Mustered Courage is not some stupid indie pop band borrowing bluegrass/folk influences for the sake of buying into a trend.  The actual writing, the detail and intricacy and instrumental prowess present is not some producer’s attempt to buy a band some cash. It demonstrates real effort, real skill and real dedication from MC’s members to their respective instruments. The riffs (if they can be called that) are extremely well written, and some virtuoso grade solos pop in from time to time as well. The orchestration is of particular note, for how it allows each respective player to hold their own corner of the groups “sound”, while stretch their musical chops. The parts fit together like a puzzle, creating a texture that has depth overall, but also allows for a rewarding experience if the listener decides to hone in on a particular part.

     Powerlines has no elements of cheesiness or monotony. The group knows how to throw in interesting shifts to make sure the music is never a static mass. There are enough breaks, solos, dynamic changes, color shifts and the like to make sure no song turns boring. Even looking at the bigger picture, the album has a serious amount of detail to it. There are romping high energy sprints (“Go To Hell”), silky smooth campfire (“Cruel Alibis”) swinging smooth grooves (“Behind the Bullet”) and everything in between. All are done extremely well and pull out cool new facets from Mustered Courage. The band really knows how to balance showing itself off with being a unified mass of excellence. As a result Powerlines comes across as extremely confident and fun.

      This album has way too much going on to be considered “just” another bluegrass recored, Powerlines manages to seem capable of holding the attention of both genre fans and non fans alike. At least that is what this level of talent and expertise ought to do. It is not just about how catchy the songs are, Mustered Courage have carefully and enthusiastically put together a really great album worthy of more attention than it will probably get.

 

9.5/10

Max Robison

 

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