So far this year David Duchovny has put out his first novel, returned to network TV for NBC’s upcoming Aquarius, signed on to reprise his iconic Fox Mulder role for Fox’s X-Files revival, and put out his first album. Wait, what? An album? Like, of music and stuff?!?! Yeah, he did. And it’s pretty great.
Like a classic Americana rock record in the vein of Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and even Bob Dylan at times, Duchovny’s musical debut is a solid first time out filled with memorable hooks and catchy rhythms. Rounded out by a group of Berklee grads (Where Duchovny and band made their live debut a few weeks back) as his backing band, Hell Or Highwater easily sounds like a seasoned vets third or fourth album, rather than a debut.
Beginning with “Let It Rain”, the tone is immediately set with a lone acoustic guitar (Provided by Pat McCusker) accompanying Duchovny’s baritone until the rest of the band enters for this mid-tempo number. “3000”, on the other hand, is like Oasis fronted by Bob Dylan and one of the more rocking tracks here. Starting with McCusker and Jeff Butcher laying down some feedback on guitar, the song screeches on as drummer Sebastian Modak packs a mean wallop on the kit.
“Stars” has a spacey vibe to it thanks in part to Colin Lee’s (Who also produced Hell Or Highwater) Fender Rhodes and Mellotron stylings while a country twang rears its head on the title track as Duchovny displays his lyrical prowess (Here, and throughout the album). Mitchell Stewart’s bass is definitely the star of another rockin’ number, “Unsaid Undone”, while “The Things” has a Tom Petty feel to it at times. Other highlights include the sing-song fun of “Another Year” and electrified closer “Positively Madison Avenue” which features some great wordplay from Duchovny (“Cuz chasin’ spooks on Fox/I made my bones” is a particular stand out).
Whether you’re a fan of Duchovny already or just a fan of great rock music, Hell Or Highwater is a must have. Hell Or Highwater is out now through Boston-based ThinkSay Records. You can get yours digitally though Itunes or a physical copy through Amazon.