Raised Toward

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Drunk's minimalist and intricate style of indie rock continued on their 1999 effort, Raised Toward. The Richmond, VA, six-piece band stands out on the indie rock map, utilizing slide guitar, accordion, violin, pennywhistle, and harmonica in their music. The disc starts off with the convoluted "Miscellany," which gives way to the simpler "Scaffold." Rick Alverson's offbeat vocals are a main component throughout. The band gets downright folky on "Equal Parts Both," which is reminiscent of Robyn Hitchcock. The music is reserved from beginning to end. On track eight, they take a stab at cover songs, offering up their rendition of Leonard Cohen's "One of Us Cannot Be Wrong." They pull it off well, making the song their own. Guitarist Via Nuon takes center stage on "All Souls Day," writing the song and appearing on vocals for the only track on the disc. The song acts as a solid transition as the album nears an end. The music is forever subtle, especially on the disc's final track, "A Tether's Length." J.T. Yost performs on a variety of instruments on the disc, including piano, accordion, Hammond, and harmonica. Bill Russell and Russell Cook fill out the rhythm section, on bass guitar and drums respectively. Nathan Boor contributes on guitar and keyboards. The slowcore sound on the disc is distinctly orchestral, creating a mood of deep deliberation. The band is easily comparable to bands like Codeine and Low, but they are able to make the sound their own. Raised Toward was recorded at Sound of Music Studios in Richmond and released on Jagjaguwar Records in late 1998.

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