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East Cameron Folkcore

For Sale

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., March 15, 2013

SXSW 2013 Records

East Cameron Folkcore

For Sale

East Cameron Folkcore's sophomore album offers a bold statement, not only for the band, but for the times. Opening with lines from Mario Savio's famous 1964 "put your bodies upon the gears" speech at UC Berkeley, the local 11-piece outfit plays voice to a new generation of disaffected youth saddled by debt, bleak job prospects, endless war, and disenfranchisement by the corporate-capitalist structure. "Robin Hoods Rise" kicks off with pure pathos, frustration rising against an era where "lies become the truth" in fevered howls. This gritty, everyman folk rock draws directly from Springsteen and Lucero with a deeply Southern literary edge, especially on raucous narratives "Salinger's Dead" and "Ophelia," cello, scarring guitars, and trombone slides coloring the edges of both banjo and mandolin. Yet the band turns equally inward, as on the gypsy-punk-tinged "Humble Pie," sighing "Chasing the Devil," and bruisingly dark "Worst Enemy," which stumbles through "empty bottles by the bottom of the bed." The gem here leads the LP's B-side, "Don't Choke" licking a Memphis lilt and diabolical grit worthy of Reigning Sound. ECF never strays too far from its hard-times anthems though, "Sallie Mae" bursting into a brilliant bankrupt stomp and "Enemy of the Times" scathing against war in a wash of political sound clips. If there's hope in this vision, it lies in the collective catharsis of a generation less For Sale than having already been sold out. (10pm, St. David's Bethell Hall)

***.5

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