Having detailed tales of regional strife and familial love on their debut, Killing Days, Boston’s American Thread mine a vein of nostalgia that comes with age on Songs in the War, their sophomore release. Taking a macro approach to the human condition, Songs in the War recounts man’s foibles endured while succumbing to life’s inevitabilities.
Where choices made out of necessity were suited to the folk-inspired Killing Days, the youthful indifference (“Broken Home”) and excuses (“The Irish in Me”) of Songs in the War are better suited to amped-up rock and roll. From the stuttering guitar of opener “Enjoy the Road” to the ramshackle closer “Rafters,” American Thread show themselves to be a band on this outing. The rambling country lilt of “Treat Her Right” and reflective “Waking Me Up” add lap steel to the band’s sound; the squalling guitar solo on “Save Us Rock N Roll” is emotional escapism from a requisite 40-hour week.
There are no regrets on Songs in the War; its joy and urgency comes not from what is lost but rather gained through perspective as on the title track. Emotionally raw but not overwrought, the lived in Songs in the War benefits from its full-band sound. An American Thread album through and through, Songs in the War is the logical follow up to Killing Days and the better of the two, connecting on a more personal level.
Soon to be available via Spotify and iTunes, you can stream/purchase Songs in the War below. Opt for the latter in the hopes this will be pressed to vinyl as it is Vinyl Worthy.