The Darkness Creeping In: Album Review
Jake Dunn & The Blackbirds are releasing their new album later this month: The Darkness Creeping In
Our teammate Chad listened to their new album, and shared his thoughts on the release, due out in December.
"The Darkness Creeping In" is the first EP from Southeastern Ohio's Jake Dunn & The Blackbirds. Their sound, seeded in Americana and the familiar vibe of roots rock, injects some howling metal-esque solos; surprisingly, they blend together perfectly. Jake Dunn (vocals/guitar) and Dustin Nash (guitar) play off of each other on all of these tracks, along with the rhythm section of Jesse Forrest (drums/vocals) and Bobby Wheeler (bass/vocals).
While listening to this release, I started to wonder: Have you ever had the feeling you've been transported to another part of your life? Listening to the EP reminded me of picking through used CD bins, in the mid-90's, at a record store in Oklahoma City. I remember spending hours at the store, utilizing their listening stations and hoping to find something that would take me in another direction. This is where I discovered the first Wilco record, Uncle Tupelo, The Bottlerockets and Peter Bruntnell. Jake Dunn could have been nestled next to some of those great discoveries. Time warp a couple of decades and this album has a comparable sound to the first Jason Isbell release, (no, not that one and not that one either) "Sirens of the Ditch."
Many of the tracks are slow rollers which build around great songwriting and excellent musicianship, all using different lenses to focus on characters that you'd see on the streets of any small town in working-class America. Tracks like "My Evangeline" and "I Don't Know a Thing" deal with heartache and loss, while "December Fourteen" tells the story of a wounded soldier returning home.
"Everything wouldn't be fine, you'd go to bed and I'd stay up all night. Hiding out til the morning light, like I knew what I wanted," from the gritty song "What I Wanted," tracks a man who questions himself about the choices he has made in his relationships and life. It's obvious, this topic is familiar songwriting territory for Dunn, as this seems to be an ongoing question in many of the songs.
Jake Dunn & The Blackbirds have successfully captured the moments we all feel when we look in the mirror and wonder if we are doing what we should, making the right decisions with love and working towards something better. "The Darkness Creeping In" will be available on December 27, 2016.