Moviola continued to display inventiveness and passion with their fourth disc, The Durable Dream. The disc starts off with "Flag You Down" and the opening recording of a man repeatedly declaring "Lay your hands on the radio." That song gives way to "Waltz on the Road," which displays the band's turn to a folksy brand of indie rock. The title track checks in as song number four. If anything, this song and the album as a whole show the maturity that the band evolved into after five years. Impressively, the band went those five years without a change in lineup. Jake Housh continues as the vocal leader, singing lead on more than half of the songs. Uniquely, the other three members (Ted Hattemer, Jerry Dannemiller, and Scotty Tabachnick) also make lead vocal appearances on the disc. Hattemer chimes in on "Call My Work," displaying a soulful presence in an almost country song comparable to slower songs by the Jayhawks or Wilco. Housh checks back in for the next few songs. "There's a Hole in the Avery" is a rousing display of guitar layered with percussion and tambourine. Things slow down with "Treaty," a short, simple, and emotionally complex song. Scotty Tabachnick makes a vocal appearance on "Accosted," a beautifully executed song with Barry Hensley on pedal steel guitar. Jerry Dannemiller's only turn on lead vocals is "1/4 Tank," in which he gently narrates a tale of a band, presumably Moviola, on the road and on tour. The most powerful song combination of the disc might be "Monument" and "Better Luck Next Time," with Housh back on vocals. On "Monument," Housh croons remorseful lyrics full of regret. On "Better Luck Next Time," the mood suddenly brightens. The optimistic Housh placidly sings to a struggling friend, with Jill Cicarelli on cornet. The disc comes to an end with "Auburn Green," with Tabachnick on vocals. As the longest song on the disc, it serves as the album's swan song, perfectly closing the door with pointedly metaphoric lyrics and clamoring instrumentation. Nancy Bonnell-Kangas serves as another guest musician on the disc, performing cello on a few songs. The songs were all recorded and produced by the band at home in Columbus, OH, except for "It Only Rains on Saturday," which was recorded at Diamond Mine Studios in Columbus.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer