RUTABEGA, THE: Unreliable Narrator: LP

The Rutabega’s latest release, Unreliable Narrator, is similar to their last album, Brother the Lights Don’t Work, in that it includes a mix of shorter, poppier tunes and longer, slower jams that build before ultimately providing an emotional break. The punk-influenced opening track, “Shiny Destination,” reminds me of a RVIVR song, while the nine-minute epic, “Lip,” has the emotional context and structure of a 1990s emo song (which I love). I appreciate the diversity of the material and the structure of the track listing provides a nice emotional contrast. The addition of slide guitar on “St. Michael Himself” and strings on “A Willow Strong” make for a good mix in the sound, but as with the band’s previous album, it’s Garth Mason’s drumming that provides a lot of the strength on these eight songs. His playing can be simple and steady or powerful and muscular, complimenting Josh Hensley’s guitar playing and strong voice. The forty-one minutes of music serves as a continuation of this Indiana duo’s previous work and an album of which they can certainly be proud. -Kurt Morris (Comedy Minus One, comedyminusone.com)