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Wheeler Brothers

Gold Boots Glitter (Bismeaux)

Reviewed by Luke Winkie, Fri., May 24, 2013

Phases & Stages

Wheeler Brothers

Gold Boots Glitter (Bismeaux)

These upstarts' debut, 2011's Portraits, painted a gorgeous streak of homeland rock, indebted to country-laced stargazers like Band of Horses and the inescapable overlooks of the Band. Impressive but ultimately narrow, it hadn't even cooled before the local quintet began talking about how different the new material would be (revisit "Call Me in the Morning," April 13, 2012). Turns out they weren't just whistling Dixie. Sophomore disc Gold Boots Glitter emerges as truly transporting. There's a dense, atmospheric weight to this disc that covers the walls with rollicking, old-world luster. The meaty, blues-guitar tangles enveloping "Heather" and the ghostly whispers sublimely harmonizing "You Got a Lot of Love" don't just stick to your ribs. They nourish. You sink to the depths of these songs; you feel them right up against your face. It's a rare intimacy, damning when inauthentic, but the Wheeler Brothers have it down. "I told a joke and made you smile, listening to the Rolling Stones," quips A.J. Molyneaux on country-rock firecracker "Sleep When I'm Dead." It's songwriting from a very specific place, the clipped excitement and beautiful fellowship that arrives with a durable friendship. The tao of Gold Boots Glitter is something to behold.

****

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