Album Review

The Districts - Great American Painting

A mixed bag.

For album five, The Districts have turned their gaze outward. And, with a great deal of time for gazing at Rob Grote et al’s disposal, that ‘The Great American Painting’ is even more sonically expansive than the Pennsylvanian outfit’s past work seems almost inevitable. At its grandest, the likes of ‘Outlaw Love’ and opener ‘Revival Psalm’ look to insert themselves among radio big-hitters: there’s more than a hint of U2 to the former’s subtle earworm. Similarly, ‘Long End’, and the slide guitar of the otherwise also-ran ‘White Devil’ do well to reflect the pastoral surroundings in which the record took shape, Rob having based himself in a cabin in Washington state (because, what else would you do in mid-2020?). A record filled with driving anthem ambition would, one might think, suit setting, title and subject matter (largely musings on the disparate state of the United States), and were it not for the overly jangly ‘Hover’, or the vacuous, synth-led mid-00s throwback ‘I Want To Feel It All’, they might well have done so. A mixed bag.

Tags: The Districts, Reviews, Album Reviews

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