Coming from the same domain as Ryan Adams, Gram Parsons, and the Flying Burrito Brothers, this Portland, OR, group's fourth album provides a great escape from suburbia, despite the rather abrupt ending to the opening pop twang of "Winner's Casino" and "5 Degrees Below Zero." Lead singer Willy Vlautin propels the album with a voice that sounds as if it's well wet from whiskey at times, particularly during "Out of State," which is equally a cross between Jeff Tweedy and Tom Petty's more reflective moments. By far the great track within is a heartfelt "Glisan Street," a rather somber and sober look at any small town and its problems. There's also a measure of guitar feedback and distortion in places, lending itself toward Wilco on "Northline," although the song drags near the conclusion. Accompanied by pedal steel guitar, the songs are relatively tight in their arrangements despite being quite lengthy in cases. The album takes a very odd turn during the middle, with two instrumentals, one veering into experimental territory. "Patty's Retreat" would fit well on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
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AllMusic Review by Jason MacNeil