Release Date: Mar 10, 2017
Record label: Anti/Epitaph
The third solo outing from the Bad Religion mastermind, Millport continues in the country-folk vein of 2006's Cold as Clay, swapping the overdriven bar chords of his flagship band for clawhammer banjo pickin' and soft rock harmonizing. Significantly more upbeat than the brooding Cold as Clay, Millport is as authentically frontporch-ready as anything Graffin has released thus far, due in large part to the presence of a formidable backing band that includes Social Distortion's Brent Harding, David Hidalgo, Jr. , and Jonny Wickersham, all three of whom are no strangers to making the transition from punk to country.
This is as strange a project as you'll hear all year - denizens of the LA punk scene, including Social Distortion and Bad Religion, eschewing the guitar violence and mayhem that was their stock-in-trade to make an album that pays homage to a style antithetical to punk - country rock. It all makes sense for BR's Gaffin, however, for whom this a salute to the old California world of fiddles, clawhammer banjos and close harmonies, which is as much an American experience as the punk spawned later. The creed of 'authenticity' so beloved of American rockers is a driver here - there's no ironic distance, merely faithful replication on tracks like Too Many Virtues and the banjodriven Echo On The Hill.