RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 24, 2013.
Promised Land Sound hail from Nashville, and while the venerable musical traditions of their hometown inform their country-rock sound—not to mention the cover art cartography of their self-titled debut LP on Paradise of Bachelors—their especial alchemy plays fast and loose with reductive genre boundaries.
The group emerged from the fertile Nashville garage scene—members have played with PUJOL, Denney and the Jets, and members of JEFF The Brotherhood and Those Darlins, among others—but they have quickly evolved to deploy a more varied country, soul, and pop palette than many of their brethren and sistren. In short order, they’ve managed to attract the admiration of esteemed folks like fellow Nashvillain Jack White, who released a live 7” of theirs on his Third Man Records, deeming them “one of our favorite local bands” and describing them thusly: “They're all youthful scruff and bluff, and they crank out tunes that would be right at home in Link Wray's 3 Track Shack or hanging with the specters of long lost 45s that haunt Nashville's overflowing legend-filled cemeteries.”
For such a young band—belying their seasoned and subtle musicianship, they’re astonishingly all around or well under the quarter-century mark—they’re remarkably attuned to historical precedents, cooking up some serious red dirt/swamp boogie and country-fried choogle à la the Flying Burritos, Jim Ford, Gene Clark, Jesse Ed Davis, the Band, CCR, Johnny Darrell, et al. And yet their tweaking of tradition never registers as revivalist or dilettantish, but rather intelligently inspired, refreshingly sincere, and reflectively rooted in the highest calibers of Southern vernacular songcraft.
Brothers Joey Scala (bass and vocals) and Evan Scala (drums) stoke the locomotive rhythm engine for guitar prodigy and singer Sean Thompson and classically trained keys man Ricardo Alessio to motorvate down the tracks. The woodshedding and session-vet vibes are palpable, their sound compellingly unhinged and singularly propulsive, all close harmonies, Hi-Stax changes, and “whoa, did he just do that?” guitar breaks, punctuated by moments of Velvets-style thud.
Our slack-jawed reaction upon first hearing Promised Land Sound live at the Stone Fox in Nashville abides: These dudes can play. Paradise of Bachelors is delighted to release Promised Land Sound’s first full-length album, co-produced by Jem Cohen (the Ettes and the Parting Gifts) and Nashville guitar wizard (and Hiss Golden Messenger band member) William Tyler, who also guests on the record. This is the homebrew batch of songs you’ll need to “Make It Through the Fall.”