Thursday, July 14, 2011

'Rise On Up and Melt' Album Review

Rise On Up and Melt
Slo Pro Records

Efren is a folk group from Athens that has its roots in classic Americana music, similar to bands such as Mumford & Sons.  Although some songs use distinctive instrumentals, like the crooning cry of the steel pedal guitar in “Mr. Greene” and the thumping guitars and banjo of “H Bomb,” most of the other songs use simple acoustic guitar instrumentation, singer-songwriter style, and ride the coattails of Efren’s lead singer and main songwriter, Scott Low. Low has a deep southern twang and a unique, raspy voice that drops to a gruff almost-whisper on “Salt to be Free.” Songs like “Moonshine” and the title track “Rise On Up and Melt” make me feel like I’m enjoying lazy summer nights on a porch in the woods of Tennessee.  Pretty female harmonies also rise and fall on “Frogbird” and “Dress Blues.”  The songs range from dark, introspective lyrics to playful commentary on the finer things to be found in southern life: “Aristocrats, Cadillacs, wine with your boys."

-Lori K.

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