Article by KevW
The history of music is littered with albums that took years to make. Sometimes things turn out well and others... not so well. Brian Wilson planned 'Smile' as a Beach Boys album to be released in 1967, before mental health problems got the better of him and he eventually released it as a solo LP in 2004 to massive acclaim. Work began on Guns N' Roses' 'Chinese Democracy' in the mid-'90s and it was over a decade until anything saw the light of day. Even the TV ads for the album didn't dare play any clips of music from that much maligned project. Pleasant Grove began work on new album 'The Heart Contortionists' almost a decade ago, before splitting, going through some personal turmoil and then reforming to complete what they started.
So how will this one fare? Has it been worth the wait or will it be as welcome as an arrogant Axel Rose turning up two hours late for a gig? The band seem pretty psyched about it, and if 'Lava' is any kind of benchmark for the rest of the record then they have every right to be. This is an excellent alt-rock track with a slight psychedelic edge and some fine harmonies, and you can't help but wonder that if they'd released this when originally planned, whether they'd have gained the same kind of following as another big US rock band who began around the same time - The National. There are similarities and it's likely that the two groups' audiences overlap. This is a strong, solid, assured and absorbing song. We're thinking this wait was worth it after all.
Pleasant Grove's website
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