So Long, Problems
Ashes in the Rearview
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., May 23, 2014
So Long, ProblemsAshes in the Rearview
"We don't draw, but worst of all, we don't try," announces So Long, Problems in opening their debut LP, a declaration of opting out of the band hustle even as the local quintet finally seems ready for a bigger spotlight. "Draw" surges with a Mott the Hoople, Memphis-horned boogie meets early Wilco behind Mike Schoenfeld's rattled vocal edge. Recent addition Graham Weber adds a balance of songwriting with his drowsy, poetic tenor to Schoenfeld's more aggressive anxiety, as "Giving Up" and "Rose" play into Ashes in the Rearview's posture of affected ambivalence and resignation. "Outliving the Ghost" surprises as a sharply shifting jam, even as "Almost Anna Sage" falls into more standard alt.country. Weber works well with a band backing his easy melodies on "Past is Gone," especially cut against Schoenfeld's crazed "License Plate Eyes," while "Can't Win" folds the fatalistic frustration into coda "Draw 2."