O’Brother – “Disillusion”

Dawson lends her thoughts on ‘Dissolution’, O’Brother’s newest record that’s due out August 20th on Triple Crown Records

Dawson White

out of 10

August 20th, 2013
Triple Crown Records

Some albums catch fire like a gasoline-doused brushed pile. Some burn slowly like your mom’s favorite Yankee candle. But others strike every match in the book hoping for a spark that never comes. O’Brother’s second full length album, Disillusion, is the last.

Now, don’t get me wrong. These guys can play their instruments. They can sing like a chorus of alt-rock angels. But something is missing. During my time with Disillusion I found myself floundering alongside the music and its undefined intentions, waiting for a moment. Any moment. Something that would assure me the music was alive and well. The strongest contender didn’t surface until the seventh song. With decipherable lyrics, haunting-yet-energetic riffs, and a clear objective, “Transience” offered a nice, cool glass of much-needed refreshment. “Parasitical” and “Context” also pulled their respective weights and proved themselves real victories for the album. They exude what I’d assume is everything the boys of O’Brother want their sound to be: hard, shadowy, cathartic, weighty rock. But with seven of the album’s ten songs clocking in at four minutes or more (many of which crossing into the six to nine realm), Disillusion gorges us on servings and servings of monotonous instrumentals to the point we’re so full from the appetizer the main course has lost its appeal.

Though ambient and ethereal, the instrumentals that precede the lyrics drown out the meat and potatoes and might be better served as their own tracks, interludes shortened and severed from their parent songs.

 But all that said, O’Brother has an innate knack for crafting dangerously enticing atmospheres that, at their strongest points, lure you into the dark, foggy forest in which they walk the night. O’Brother just made their debut performance at Lollapalooza and are gearing up for their first nationwide headlining tour this fall. There’s good stuff here, folks; you just have to put in a little effort to find it.

-Dawson White, August 19, 2013


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