So in general, I cover folk groups. But you know, sometimes you need a little more edge than a banjo/fiddle band can offer. So I went on a lengthy pilgrimage in search for the solution this problem, and I found a kick-ass group that’ll rock your socks off.
The Portland-based band Truckstop Darlin’ released their second album, Hope and the Heart It Breaks, earlier this year. And it is phenomenal. The punky power in their songs mixed with the folky instrumentation blends into alt-country sound that their facebook page calls “Mountain Grunge.”
But I’m not writing about these guys just to show you yet another great band from the Portland scene—I’m writing about Truckstop Darlin’ because they’ll give you everything you want out of music in a single song. My personal favorite off their new album is “Dead Roses.” A slightly-distorted pedal steel riff introduces the song and quickly becomes the tune’s backbone. As the drums build, the other instruments come in, completing the lick.
The vocals really got me hooked: they’re honest, frank, and have all the balls in the world. The in-your-face feel of the vocals remind me of that old punk band, Jawbreaker—but they’ve got a little more twang.
The song is uplifting. It provides a sense of closure. But the most important tonal element to talk about is power. A lot of folk and country bands can’t quite bring the power, but you don’t have that same problem in “Mountain Grunge.” From the second the drums kick in to the moment the song ends, Truckstop Darlin’ is in full control, owning every lyric and every chord. The technical tightness and explosive attitude of the song is bound to rock off a few socks—and maybe even melt some faces.
Be sure to check out this Portland band’s new album, Hope and the Heart It Breaks, which is available on their website. Bands like Truckstop Darlin’ don’t come around often, so be sure to keep your eye on these guys!