steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Last of the Blacksmiths

Self-titled CD


Genres: folk rock, Americana, alt country

December 2005

Moody noir-ish storytelling folk for smoky taverns and dusty rural days. That's my way of encapsulating Last of The Blacksmiths' style, which combines country, Americana, and pop into one pleasant (though not entirely groundbreaking or original) combination. I'm reminded somewhat of Okkervil River (who they've performed live with) but this is a much less melody-centric and climactic release; instead, LOTB tends to move along at their own pace, bringing lyrics to the forefront and instilling a moody structure in each of their songs. One of the record's key successes is the inclusion of a soft but lovely organ in many of the songs; this makes tracks like "Pushing Down" and "Saloon Song" some of the strongest and most unique on the record. Meanwhile, other standouts include the drearily pretty "Knowing Me" and the hip and moody "Out At Night". Often a strong Will Oldham and Anomoanon influence can be heard, especially on "In My Hands" and warm "The New Way". Overall, this is a very mature record from a band that we'll hopefully hear a lot more from in the future; this is nearly an hour of pretty modern folk that stays true to its roots without dragging along too much.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, 54.7 min, distributed by the label, released 2005]