SUNDOWNERS: The Larger Half of Wisdom: LP

Band maturation is an interesting journey. I’m not going to say Gnomes and Glaciers was a good album. It was fair, but didn’t get you caught up from the get go, nor did it slow burn its way into heavy rotation. The 7” was a huge leap forward; songs sticking immediately in your head, warranting the getting up and down to flip the record for multiple spins. That can happen a lot with the no-filler shorter format. The Larger Half of Wisdom is obviously the fruition of the direction headed and the time elapsed between releases. The new LP is quite simply a stunner and not just because each song is immediately hummable. The embellishments that add the extra little “umpf” or “whoah!” throughout the album (the small guitar flourish in “Blue Collar Salute,” the slide guitar-esque solo in “Right Down Broadway,” and the high backing vocals in “Bird World Problems”) bring that little where-did-that-come-from? shiver up your spine. The loose theme of the record and fantastic art and layout ice this cake and are going to speak volumes if you’re big into hugging trees and petting animals. Sundowners have offered up a top 10 for 2013… easy.

 –Matt Seward (Dirt Cult)