The Parson Red Heads

Album Title: King Giraffe
Release Date: February 2007
Genre: Folk/Rock
Having shared the stage with indie mainstays such as Cursive and Maria Taylor, I had high hopes concerning this release and The Red Heads do not disappoint. Offering up a distorted slab of feel-good Americana, the band's sound is ethereal and airy while remaining immediate enough to retain the attention of listeners. As the album's opener "Sister" gets on its way, one can automatically discern that this band bears little resemblance to the aforementioned acts. Creating their own brand of reverb-drenched folk-rock, The Parson Red Heads rely on four-part harmonies and quirky instrumentation to accompany Evan Way's simple, thoughtful lyrics. And never to greater effect than on "Punctual As Usual", as Way claims "You are the ground beneath my feet" while the guitars, bass, and drums come crashing down as if to test the solidity of this surface. Handclaps then enter the fray to create what is easily the most pleasant track on a near-wholly enjoyable album. These guys and gals know what they're doing.

It's hard to pin down this Los Angeles troupe because of how nebulous subgenres have become nowadays. When referring to contemporary folk, Bright Eyes (indie-folk) or Devendra Banhart (freak-folk) are artists that come to mind. However, neither of said artists resemble The Red Heads. The most accurate description I can formulate would be a somewhat psychedelic version of The Magic Numbers sharing drinks with Wilco. And to be honest, those aren't the worst bands to be likened to.

While The Red Heads bear little to no similarities to the bands they've shared the stage with, they've constructed such a pleasant album that they deserve the exposure. Evan Way might not be the second coming of Tim Kasher or Conor Oberst but he and his bandmates can sure write a catchy tune.

Writer: Vinh Cao

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