Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Root Cause: Let the music do the talking

Chicago band The Root Cause has a new LP, Let the music do the talking, which presents an accomplished set of tracks in the vein of Americana/Roots-rock. Comparisons could be made with Iron & Wine, Uncle Tupelo, Whiskey Town or softer Alice in Chains. Max Riske is clearly a talented vocalist and alongside the varied instrumentation, I think RC has produced a solid, cohesive work full of emotional rockers with lasting melodies. Essentially a collection of love/break up songs, the LP is well paced and reveals more layers upon repeated listens.  “Common man” sets the tone for the LP with some warm acoustic guitar tones and develops into a bit of a rocker. Shades of Dave Matthews come through on “It’s you and I”. “All I ever wanted”, “Bad day”, “Understanding” and “Happiness is you and me” are all solid acoustic pop tunes with fine vocals and harmonies albeit lacking some variation in subject matter and instrumentation. I found that RC really shines on “Remember” with its lilting organ backing and lovely harmonies combined, we get a little more tension in this track which works out well. “Easy to be greedy” displays the bands affinity for rocking out and has a lot of passion. “Temptation” as well, displays some passionate vocals as well as a touch of urgency. There is some expert guitar work in “Dreaming of home” and “You’re the best of me”. Overall, when first previewing the LP, I found it a bit predictable and redundant in subject matter but after repeated listens I discovered a more layered work that can be appreciated as a whole as well as through individual tracks. A solid effort for an accomplished group of musicians.

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