Thursday, November 17, 2022

Album Review: The Rakers - The Morality of Heart Transplants

The Rakers
The Morality of Heart Transplants
**and1/2 out of *****

The sixth album from the Baton Rouge, LA based The Rakers is a rambling mix of Americana rock that lurches and stumbles from booth to table top in a local dive bar telling tales and regaling the clientele with off center poetry as The Morality of Heart Transplants delivers the groups nine songs; if that sounds fun, wooly, odd, and a touch off-putting, that is the point. 

Opener "Bunch of Cans" is straining on all levels, vocally straining to reach notes, lyrically yearning for "Glory Days", guitars trying to hit higher registers and organ warbling on the edges. The lo-fi Americana/light punk rock vibes recall The Mekons and The Replacements as the group plays up cosmic poetry as they noisily crash through "Orion's Belt" before incorporating sweet backing vocals and horns on "Turn 25" which deals with aging in life and love.  

The band (Alex V. Cook: vocals, keys, steel, guitar Lance Porter: vocals, guitar Lewis Roussel: bass, vocals Leon LeJeune: guitar, harmonica, foghorn Sam Anselmo: drums) accentuate the country vibes on the weepy, pedal steel touched "Silent Movie" while the marching drums push the sailor song "Get Me Off This Boat". The more restrained (at least musically) story song "Iron Jaw Samson" is a pause on the rollicking as the group spin the so unreal it is true yarn of the title character as gorgeous harmonica work blows through.

The Rakers tighten up just enough on a few rockers like the early R.E.M sounding "Next Right Thing", while the organ led "I Think Your Wrong" strips down for garage rock before "Pump 'n' Play" pushes things all in, shooting for the stars and crashing with big alternative rock, just falling short of arena dreams before ending the album and buying another round. 

While sound levels, vocals and production values bob and weave throughout The Morality of Heart Transplants, The Rakers gas up the old jalopy and give it another spin around the well worn alternative landscape, dropping new observations and tales as they travel.  
Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

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