The Revivalists

City of Sound

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The Revivalists hail from New Orleans and it's possible to hear the careening wobble on City of Sound, the group's second album. Nevertheless, the scene the group most often recalls is that of the loose-limbed, eclectic jam band groups of the East Coast of the '90s, and not just because David Shaw's elongated phrasing brings to mind Dave Matthews. As a group, the Revivalists demonstrate a willingness to ride a groove to an extreme, embracing its funk and improvisational qualities, a tendency that's evident even in these studio confines where most tracks weigh in at around four minutes. These guys sound like they'd be a blast to see live and they're pretty good on record, too, sounding muscular but also lithe, able to play deftly with electronics ("Chase's House") and indulging in spacy folk ("Pretty Photograph") as ably as they roll with Big Easy funk ("When I Die"). This versatility is what keeps the Revivalists from being, well, revivalists: they're drawing from the past to assemble their own messy, teeming vision of the present, one where there are no borders between styles, one where a jam band can sound as alive on record as it does on-stage.

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