This is one eerie record. Not so much for the lyrical or musical content, but for the fact that vocalist/songwriter Andrew Grimm sounds EXACTLY like Jay Farrar from Son Volt. Not similar, not sorta, but the same nasal twang, same vocal inflections. If this wasn’t distracting enough, pedal steel player Eric Heywood guests on a number of cuts. You’ll remember him from — you guessed it — Son Volt. The songs here are good, the playing fine (particularly mandolin picker Tom Scanlan) but there’s no getting around Grimm’s voice. Toss in a bit of Jayhawks-sounding electric guitar, and this is alt-country by the numbers. Cuts like “Shoot Down That Monkey” and “Telegraph” stray a bit farther a field, influences-wise, and perhaps bode well for the future of June Star, but right now, they are riding a bus somebody else already built.
Sae House Records: http://www.safehouserecords.com