Agents of Good Roots

Needle and Thread

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Loose, smooth, and as soulful as high-minded '90s modern rock can get, Needle and Thread is a strong offering from Richmond, VA's Agents of Good Roots. The group had built up a solid East Coast fan base thanks to years of successful touring, and on their major-label debut One by One, released two years prior to 2000's Needle and Thread, the group had also established themselves at rock radio around the country. Their melodic roots rock and knack for sticky choruses was becoming well known and the anticipation for this release was indeed high. The band certainly came through on Needle and Thread. The music is slick without sounding at all manufactured, and a kaleidoscopic mix of influences shades this record with a unique richness and subtlety. The Toto-fronted-by-Dylan sound of "Jakob" alone is mind-bendingly musical and fresh, while a more established Soul Coughing vibe can be felt on tracks like "Radio King" and "Innocent Days." Vocalist Andrew Winn's chunky rasp keeps the Agents of Good Roots extremely identifiable however, keeping listeners focused on the band whose name graces the cover, not the artists almost covered.

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