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The Good Old War – Come Back As Rain

on March 19, 2012, 7:59am
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The Good Old War guitarist Dan Schwartz recently said in an interview, “The best way to write for harmonies is to have a melody that’s very sing-alongable. Is that a world? Sing-alongable?” Although Webster forgot to include that one in the dictionary, Schwartz, Tim Arnold, and Keith Goodwin have created the year’s best album for sing-alongs, filled with lovely three-part harmonies and delightful, unique indie-pop songs.

The disc’s “beautiful day” cover art combined with the title, which rejects such weather, set up the dichotomy that prevails throughout Come Back As Rain’s 11 tracks. While the music is sunny and upbeat, much of the lyrical content airs on the sad side, as seen on the album’s best track, “Amazing Eyes”. It seemingly starts off as a love song but drifts into a disheartening retrospective: “I don’t care what you think I’ve done/I know I never meant no harm to anyone.”

Goodwin sings of the same eyes on another standout track, “Can’t Go Home”, which quickly builds from a sparse, guitarpicking song to an upbeat folk jam after the lines “That’s the last I’ll compromise before your perfect eyes.” It’s clear someone in the band has been dealing with heartache as the song continues, “There’s nothing like sleeping alone so much/There’s nothing as lonely as my own bed.”

The Good Old War (whose name comes from each of its members’ last names) have certainly improved their banjo and mandolin-driven sound on this album, and the current musical landscape is the perfect place for it. With bands like Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers paving the way for Simon & Garfunkel/Crosby, Stills & Nash-inspired bands in the mainstream, this trio is certainly in the right place at the right time.

The Langhorne, Pennsylvania, group has been making music since 2008, but after a breakout performance at Coachella last year, video play on MTV, and the two-month national tour they’re currently headlining in support of Come Back As Rain, there are big things to come in their sing-alongable future.

Essential Tracks: “Amazing Eyes” and “Can’t Go Home”

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