With this latest release, No Dividing Line, Straw Dogs serve up a highly listenable blend of acoustic rock garnished with equal parts pop and folk touches. Having kicked around since the late 1990′s the band has managed to have their music appear in several films and commercials and still retain their indie credibility.
Much of the material here hangs out in second gear, unhurried and indolent. “Borrowed Troubles,” “This Good,” and “Together Now” tell their stories in measured turns.
“Cradle in Me” is one of those near perfect songs that can stand alone and be played a half dozen times in a row, guilt free. There’s a soulful ambition on display from David Von Beck’s vocal delivery.
“New Sunrise” is about as hopeful and upbeat as a song can get. Trying to get past the headaches and back to why one person cares about another.
“Star” manages to be bouyant and sort of downbeat at the same time, no easy feat. Feels like a minor key lament for optimism. The resonance of the dobro is mournful and feels like heartbreak. Still a good tune, but time to switch back from decaf and pick up the pace a little.
There are beautiful harmonies and great production throughout. This is what Sunday evening sounds like. When you’ve shook off the detritus of the weekend and steeled yourself for what’s to come, this is what hope sounds like. As David von Beck says on “The Wear,” “Things will be better, not worse/For the wear.”
Amen, brother. Amen.