It’s too early into 2020 to declare a record one of the best of the year, yeah? Well, if it’s not uncouth to do so then I’d like to submit the long awaited new full-length from Boston’s Eldridge Rodriguez as worthy of those kinds of accolades. It’s been five years since Eldridge Rodriguez delivered a new full-length and in that time personal conflict, as well as living in a world with a political climate that is so absolutely toxic that one is constantly gasping for air, has provided the necessary fuel for a fire that burns bright throughout Slightest of Treason. It’s an emotional sonic rollercoaster of a record and a journey that music fans of all kinds will gladly take.
Barely 30 seconds in, and before vocalist/guitarist Cameron Keiber even opens his mouth to croon, “Country and Western” is already buzzing. Propelled forth with a sense of urgency by Dennis Grabowski’s stunning and powerful percussive assault as Clayton and Cameron Keiber’s guitars put up a wall of sound that is both monolithic and melodic, the track captures a modern Americana feel which screams “Boston!” (Think Modern Lovers in particular) mixed with that 2004-2005 British new wave of Indie (Was there an official title for this movement???) that yielded instant classic debuts from the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Maximo Park, and Bloc Party.
“Your Dead Boyfriend” has more of the feels and adds local (And national!) favorite Sarah Borges to accompany Cameron on the mic with David Grabowski’s playful plucking on the bass swelling into a decidedly morbid yet undeniably grand chorus. Elsewhere, “Miami Dade” is dreamy, seven-minute Alt masterpiece that you didn’t know you needed in your life while “Psychic Darts” is like the greatest Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band classic never recorded. You know those coveted bootlegs where your favorite artist has that one song that they always jam out to live but never put to tape? That’s this little ditty…and they even got their own Clarence Clemons with Joe DeGeorge providing those smooth saxophone sounds.
“Count Me Out” crosses hemispheres with glistening guitars and harmonica flourishes bringing to mind Porno For Pyros’ “Tahitian Moon” combined with Bob Dylan-style storytelling and later, “The Girl Who Made God” was made to be played in the Bang Bang Bar or in some other Lynchian world. “The Last of the Strongmen” brings in the string accompaniment as well as Borges’ uncanny pipes once again with Cameron Keiber’s sultry baritone laying it all bare before “There’s No Control” ebbs and flows through a final track that has the Keiber and Grabowski brothers delivering an iconic new Alternative anthem for the Kurt Cobain-wearing kids of today who’ve yet to discover R.E.M. or Pixies.
Slightest of Treason will be released through Midriff Records on February 7th. Pre-orders are up now and can be perused and purchased by clicking here. If yer lucky, you might even see Eldridge Rodriguez live in 2020 supporting the new magnum opus. To know the latest and greatest on the band, follow them on the web by clicking here or here.