I became a .357 String Band fan two songs into seeing them on the stage at Deep Blues Festival 2. At the time I’d never heard of them, but I made a note that it was time to remedy such things. Since that festival I’ve caught them live here in Tampa a handful of times, even bringing them to town as an official ninebullets show the last time they were around. That said, I’ve never once written about one of their cds. That really wasn’t by accident. See, as much as I’ve loved watching these guys live, their cds never really managed to hold me. Amongst .357 fans I am a minority, I know, but the breakneck pace of those albums tended to wear on me when it was coming from a CD instead of a stage. For the first five songs of Lightning From The North very little was different, as the speed metal meets a string band sound .357 has patented was played out to near perfection. The came “Oh, Adilene” and the album changed and I was falling in love all over again.
Now I’m not suggesting that the album becomes a bunch of woeful ballads from there on out. It just seems to become more melodic, more willing to settle into and ride a groove instead of forcing as many notes as possible into every bar. This could be all perception due to the prominence of the fiddle on this album, but after repeat listens I really don’t think that’s the case. It seems to me that here on their third album the band has settled into their “sound” and are beginning to mature and branch out within it, and as a result we get gems like “Oh, Adilene” and “The Days Engrave”. I suppose there are some long time fans that’ll be put off by this growth, but I for one welcome it and look forward to hearing where it will take them in the future. Meanwhile, their present is a spot on the Essential Listening list.
.357 String Band’s Official Site, .357 String Band on myspace, Buy Lightning From The North
TOPICAL 9B IN THE WILD PIC:
Last week, long time 9B reader Goerth Koeppe sent me this picture of him (in a 9B shirt) and .357 String Band: