Release Date: Sep 17, 2013
Record label: Boh
Genre(s): Country, Americana, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Rock & Roll, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Roots Rock
Four albums in, the Band of Heathens faced an upheaval. Vocalist/guitarist Colin Brooks left the band in 2011 and, not long afterward, so did the rhythm section of bassist Seth Whitney and drummer John Chipman, giving co-leaders Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist the opportunity to redefine the band somewhat on their 2013 album, Sunday Morning Record, an opportunity that they seize. Often, the phrase "Sunday morning record" suggests something sweet and mellow, but there's an earthiness to this album that flies in the face of the notion of a quiet coffee and croissant.
I once worked with a project manager named Jake, who was a nice enough guy. Nice enough that, upon finding out that I collected vinyl, decided to lend me some records that he had collected throughout the years that I could listen to. It was a favor from one vinyl purist to another—that kind of thing—and a way to break the ice between two new workers at the same job.
Kudos to Band of Heathens for working their way into the spotlight, from an initial bunch of semi-insurgents to a group so polished and professional that they can make an album like Sunday Morning Record actually appear to echo its title. Not that they didn’t boast an auspicious entrance; their first studio efforts were widely praised in Americana circles before subsequently soaring to the top of the charts, thanks in large part to the fact that each of its members were talented singer/songwriters in their own right. Given that fact, it’s not surprising that this, their fourth studio album to date, sounds so assured.
Band of Heathens Sunday Morning Record (BOH) Band of Heathens' fourth studio effort shouts change! Since releasing last year's 2-CD set The Double Down: Live From Denver, there's been a shuffle in personnel, with the only remaining original members being bandleaders Gordy Quist and Ed Jurdi, who are now joined by a new drummer, Richard Millsap, and Trevor Nealon on keys. The biggest strength for this Austin gang was always songwriting, and that remains commendable on Sunday Morning Record, although as the title of this disc suggests, much of the raucous edges have been sanded away. In fact, there's a bit of Beatles circa Rubber Soul that wasn't present before, with cool harmonies and easygoing guitars replacing the rough, blue-eyed funk of the band's past.