West Virginia duo Farnsworth are back after two long years with their newest full-length album. Like their self-titled EP, Elk City is a classic rock drenched set of songs that have the wonderful sneer of the 90’s. The album was completely tracked in three days with all the tracks recorded live in the same room. The live recording setting adds a wonderful layer of grit and energy to Elk City‘s eight tracks.
The album starts with some Foghat inspired guitar riffs of “American Dream.” The track is straight 70’s southern rock and is chock full of catchy hooks and lyrics that beg to be sung along to. You’ll barely be able to resist the urge to break out your air guitar for that killer solo that comes in just under the 2-minute mark.
“Free Me” starts with a lovely doom and gloom bassline before the bluesy guitars and drums come in. You can really hear the Black Keys influence, specifically their early releases, on this track all the way down to the distorted vocals. It struts along slowly at the start, building over the instrumental break in the middle before coming back down for the close. There’s a darkness to this track that I can’t seem to resist. Farnsworth bring back some of the fuzzy 90’s inspired grunge I love so much about the band’s self-titled EP.
Farnsworth show their softer side with the ambling “Last Chance.” The duo has proven time and time again that they know how to craft a rip-roaring rock anthem so it’s nice to see them slow things down a bit. Once again, you can hear the classic rock influences on the shimmery guitars which still manage to pack a little bit of a bite. “Last Chance” ebbs and flows, picking up around the 2-minute mark before dropping back off again.
Listening to the album, it’s hard to believe that C.W. Vance and Jason Reese managed to pull 80% of the recording in 3 days. The songs of Elk City beg to be heard in a live setting and because of the way they were recorded, it’s the next best thing to seeing Farnsworth live.