The Myrtles

The Myrtles

Nowhere To Be Found

C Student

Ryan Adams has a new record coming out this fall and Caitlin Cary has already issued one of the best records of 2003 but those longing for the days when they shared the stage in Whiskeytown might want to look up this disc from Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s The Myrtles. Singer Gabe Daigle’s blustery, slightly unhinged vocals and Talice Lee’s violin will take you back to the mid-’90s and Whiskeytown’s Faithless Street and Stranger’s Almanac.

The Myrtles certainly have the easygoing melancholy drone thing down on tracks like “All Your Precious Things.” “I don’t remember being stoned / I don’t remember when you phoned / I don’t remember being so alone,” Daigle sings. And “Spend Your Spirit” is an effective guitar showcase with Daigle trading licks with Lee Barbier.

“Every Day,” which sounds more like Uncle Tupelo or Son Volt, is a welcome rocker on a mostly downbeat record of dark songs about loneliness and drowning your sorrows. The highlight of the record though is probably the enthusiastic, set-opening “Devil In A Bottle.” The band would be wise to put a few more tunes like these on the next record.

Overall the songs on Nowhere To Be Found meander and breathe a bit more than those in the Whiskeytown canon. The guitars also tend to freak out more and the violin goes otherworldly on songs like “If You Left.” Lyric lines (not always the most interesting ones) get repeated mantra-like. In other words, this is a more experimental, indie rock version of Americana than you may be used to. Daigle’s not quite Ryan Adams yet in the vocals department and the songwriting could use sharpening. Still, if you’re feeling nostalgic for the halcyon days of the Clinton Administration and the heyday of alt-country, The Myrtles may be right up your alley.

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