El Camino (Cedar Fever)
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Feb. 18, 2011
The GaryEl Camino (Cedar Fever)
After last year's beer-goggled Logan LP, the six-song follow-up from this thinking feller's union is a bit more clear-eyed. They're men of a certain (r)age, and if the local trio never seems to make music for anyone in particular, that's because it's a release from the day-to-day grind. With the Gary's low-end churn in place, it makes sense that audio purist Steve Albini stepped in. "I don't belong here among the gray hairs," bassist Dave Norwood pants on standout "Great White Vacation," preceded by the plowing "Forty Freedoms," which explores the American dream from the edge of the wilderness in quoting environmentalist Aldo Leopold. Norwood's thoughtful in his vocal pacing, laying out each argument atop Trey Pool's wiry guitar and Paul Warner's rhythmic pulse. On closer "Expiration 2," Norwood sings "songs of expiration, with kicked-up dust hanging midair." The Gary aren't fatalists. They're realists.