Homebody's sincere new EP leaves us wanting more, MCHF channels local chemistry
Homebody, the hard rock trio from Northwest Georgia, sounds as angry and confused as any youthful group of musicians figuring their way through life by the use of recorded song. Where they differ is in their musicianship, their mature approach to recording, and a very polished and sincere message both in the lyrics and the recording process of their newest release Toothache.
Toothache is only a five song collection. Just a bit longer than an EP and a few songs short of an LP, but where they make it count is in the tightly-packed verses and choruses that make a listener think there’s much more to this band and that’s something to be excited about if you’re a fan of this genre, live in this area, or appreciate good songwriting at all.
The trio is made up of Wes Pace, Drew Waldon, and Cole F. Cosby who all share writing credits on the album. Their sound is very ‘90s-inspired but not just in the hard rock Pearl Jam sense but also in the indie-sense of bands like American Football and Braid.
Two of the albums stand-outs, “Chief” and “Doubter,” both start out with a single guitar, picking out a melodic progression before heading into a fury of neatly played drums and wailing vocals. “Doubter” is a brutally honest take on many things, but one line in particular stands out: “The preacher calls me at his grace because I question all of his lies.” Heavy stuff indeed.
Another curious point in the album comes smack dab in the middle. At only 58 seconds, “Breathe” is an instrumental that is meant to give both the listeners and the collection a time to breathe, to gain one’s breath back and prepare for more. Now, if this album was 10 or 11 songs long, it would be necessary and much-appreciated. But here, with such little to work with, it’s just a tease for more. Which may be exactly what Homebody wants you to wish for.
Mountain Creek House Fire
Chemistry is something that cannot be manufactured in a lab. For all the science teachers and Walter White fanatics out there waiting to jump down my throat, hold up. Let me rephrase. When writing songs in a duo, chemistry can’t be manufactured. It grows with time, ages with experience, and commands attention and respect.
That is what Robert Lovett and Pattee Wilbanks have found and nurtured in Mountain Creek House Fire, a folk-americana duo that is soon to release Listen Local, a fully collaborative album that is as sincere and personal as it is universally relatable.
The songwriting on Listen Local seems seamless and classic. Lovett and Wilbanks share the writing credits, taking turns on every other track, but their harmonies tie in each song sweetly, especially on “Food and Gasoline,” a tale of an everyman you’d find in one of Bruce Springsteen’s songs who works for two things and those two things allow him to work.
Same old cycle over and over, told in an old-timed fashion with fresh energy. In an ode to a lost one, Wilbanks sings to “Martha” for guidance, love, and self-discovery, realizing that “maybe it’s me that I’m searching for.”
Major themes in Listen Local are the common struggles and daily routines we all find ourselves in. Whether it’s the southern soil we were born and raised on, struggling with the idea of getting old, raising young’uns, coming home to a loved one after a hard day at work, the themes and stories are old and true.
What is refreshing about MCHF is their earnestness, their dedication to the sound and craft of the genre, and their passion to make it not only special for their listeners but special for themselves. And even through the monotonous struggles of daily life, they are hopeful and full of youth, like in the album’s closer “A New Day Was Born Today,” Lovett sings, “You can’t find up with your head hanging down.”