Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Album Review: Futurebirds - Teamwork

***and1/2 out of *****

The veteran Athens, GA outfit Futurebirds newest release Teamwork is a delightful mixing of Americana, Psychedelic country and good old fashion rock and roll as it works its way through twelve tracks complete with harmonies, horns, guitars and shining examples of successful songwriting.

The band, Thomas Johnson, Johnny Lundock, Carter King, Brannen Miles, and Daniel Womack, work as a true collective with each member contributing to the writing of songs, harmonies and lead vocals. The overall sound from track to track shifts with various influences seeping in, but the southern twang and steel guitar is never far from the center.

The group has a large Wilco influence as they work in the alt-country ramble and steel guitars for “My Broken Arm” but even better is the yearning-to-soaring adventure of “Wandering Minds”, which digs deep emotionally. “Picking Up Strangers” would be at home in a Drive-By Trucker live set while “Dream, Fam!” amps up the bass work and horns reminiscent of successful My Morning Jacket outings and “Trippin” injects a bit of a Tom Petty pop rock influence into the radio friendly jam.

While those influences are all positive, the band makes its own mark on the excellent “Killing Ground” which deals with addiction around raspy vocals and shimmering guitars while album opener “CBL” expertly uses glimmering guitar lines, ringing harmonies, country swagger and a stout back beat to recall joys of eras past.

The band recorded Teamwork while on tour all over the country and at times the production can sound muddle with vocals pushed to the back or layered under fuzzy layers of instrumentation, echoes and effects. An example is the southern soul displayed on “Wear It Out” which blares successfully, but crisper production would reward with even better results. However, experimental closer “Waiting On A Call” works well with that overloaded style, crafting an electronic sonic journey.

One of Futurebirds strongest overall efforts of their career, Teamwork is easy going while posing emotional questions, taking things as they come while delivering tunes for the road trip of life.
Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

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