Release Date: Feb 12, 2013
Record label: Quite Scientific
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Alternative Country-Rock
Michigan-based folk-country band Frontier Ruckus has a sound that is oddly lush, and yet somehow sparse and elegantly simple, the way a river moves through different landscapes when seen from above, calm and tranquil, but underneath every molecule is in motion. Led by the songs and singing of Matthew Milia, the band's songs are all about a kind of artful, literary nostalgia, remembering places, conversations, important meetings, and partings, all set against the geography of Michigan. Yes, this is a Michigan band, but Milia sings about his home as if it were standing in for the experience of growing and living anywhere, a kind of personal Spoon River Anthology as done by early R.
Eternity Of Dimming, the new double-album from Michigan’s Frontier Ruckus is a great sample from the growing number of Anti-Mumford albums. That’s not a shot at the Sons from across the pond, as much as it is an illustration of how wide the valley of bands practicing the colorful combination of primitive sounds sprinkled with an assortment of bells and whistles has become. Unlike Mumford and Sons, the Lumineers and other stage-stomping anthem enthusiasts, however, the third record for Frontier Ruckus favors to stay on the lower, calmer end of swelling choruses and arm-raising sing-alongs.
With their new album Eternity of Dimming, Frontier Ruckus have created a quintessential double-album, complete with all the benefits and problems that label suggests. The 20 songs and 90 minutes of music are probably essential to capture all of songwriter and singer Matthew Milia’s ideas and words, but the length also makes for a demanding stretch of listening, raising the old questions about editing and pretension in pop and all that good stuff. What matters, though, is if the scope of the art warrants the size of the listen.