The Liquorsmiths laid-back energy on This Book Belongs To makes it easy to love
More than perhaps any genre save blues, the spirit behind Americana music can’t be faked.
It can’t be faked because the music itself hearkens thoughts and emotions that scream “pulling your red, radio flyer wagon past a white picket fence on a hot July afternoon as pa waters the lawn.”
It’s with great pleasure, then, and a boon to the genre, discovering that San Diego’s The Liquorsmiths capture that essence and more on their latest record “This Book Belongs To …”
They describe their sound as ” deeply engaging Wilco flavored Americana,” and those comparisons are valid. However, when lead singer Drew Thams opens his mouth, there’s just as much Tom Petty that comes as Jeff Tweedy, at least in my mind.
Like Petty, The Liquorsmiths bring a certain easy-going attitude to nearly all their songs on the album. And with lyrics like “Because home is not a place/it’s a family/Just like warmth is not a feeling it’s a state of mind/So from this point on I swear it/With my two hands in yours/We’ll build it/We’ll build it right,” on the engaging “Iris’ Song,” if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself falling in love after just one listen.
They change it up a bit on “Thief,” by adding a more ambient opening that gently rolls into the verse. It’s this song, more than the others, that sounds the most like “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” era Wilco.
The only real thing bringing down this song is the fact that Thams’ vocals are just a tad bit off key, but it’s still easy to relax and enjoy, regardless.
After a decent-enough track in “Devil May Do,” they finish off the album strong with “Day by Day,” a song that hits you like a cool breeze along the oceanside until the end part where a soft chant accompanies Thams’ most Petty moment of the album that sounds like it could have come right from a song like “I Wont Back Down.” Which, to be sure, isn’t a bad thing because they add enough of their own style to make it interesting.
The best song on the album, though, easily is “Get Well Soon” and also stands as the most radio-ready track. If you can’t unwind even a little after listening to this one, there’s something wrong with you as a human being, and I don’t say that often. It’s universal message — wishing that someone gets better before too long — is a good one, too.
As for the whole album, all and all, there’s much more to enjoy on “This Book Belongs To…” than there is to dislike. It’s Americana to it’s core, it’s fun to listen to, and it isn’t ashamed of what it is — simple yet fun folk music to have a good time with.