This Great Religion


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Here we go again with the earnest folk-rock: Great '60s-flavored swirling stuff pushed along by acoustic, jangly, soaring, electric guitars; simple bass; and ecstatic drums. The vocalist here, Maria Hall, has one of those eyes-closed, gorgeously sexy folk voices: smooth as honey and gloriously seductive, and a joy to listen to even when the music falters (which happens enough that one suspects the recording budget was minimal) and the lyrics don't quite jell. It's a shame that her voice is sometimes lost in the mix -- buried at one point on "So Sad" by both drummer Matt Gunnell and guitarist Anthony Hoffer's sudden blast of supposedly background vocals (again, the suspicion is that this was due to the budget.) It's a good effort, though.