Thursday, March 31, 2011



The Riverbreaks are a DC area band with five members that grew up in various spots in the US. Perhaps that is why to my ear, there is not an obvious geographic placement of this record, in spite of the sound that many would place it terra firmly in the Americana camp. That is not a complaint, but a rather refreshing observation, as this music stands on its own, instead of being compared to whatever local scene or college scene dominates the area. Although Brooklyn is the classic melting pot where the the poor huddled masses of bands amass, Washington DC does have many many bands made up of diverse elements as well. "Get You Right" is the debut of the Riverbreaks and will be released shortly in conjunction with a live show at the DC9, Thursday, April 7th. I mentioned Americana, but there are moments of straight ahead rock, folkrock, and thoughtful pop music. Even more interesting to the balanced heartland feel to the record, is the timeless elements. I hear sounds and styles from the 60s, 80s, and present day music scene. The arrangements are varied and the keyboard sounds and style have much to do with that. The rhythm section is solid, the vocals assured and the guitar work is quite good. There is a ringing quality to the guitar solos and the tone varies nicely as well. The band has put a lot of thought into the writing and arranging of the songs. I think half of the songs would work about as well on acoustic guitar and voice, but it is nice to hear the expansion into a full-band format. There is a lot of quality music in the DC area, but the Riverbreaks can hold their own with anyone in the indie rock scene.

Songs to sample:

Strangers in the Hot Night - It is no surprise that this is their single. It's a great pop tune with lots of pace and one you would want to sing along to. The synthesizer is really retro (read cheesy, but cool).

Casco Viejo - Great swaying rocker with fine wah-wah pedal work by the lead guitar. A bit of Drive-by Truckers meets Steamhammer, perhaps?

Bolin Creek - Good guitar interplay in more of a classic folk-rock idiom.

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