I don't remember loving the last Great Lakes album Wild Vision when it came out in 2016 but gave it a decent review anyway. The album having been added to my work I-pod turned out to have some cool songs on it that work well in a big mix so that being sent the follow up Dreaming Too Close To the Edge the band's sixth album is no bad thing.
Well the opening song End Of An Error is certainly a cool, almost fuzzed out indie rocker in the vein of Galaxie 500, which needs to be heard a good few times to hear what going on with the guitars.
The album then takes a turn for the downbeat and sad on Bury The Hatchet. It seems he wants to bury it in the back of the ex this song is about, so it's a mordant country death song to sip bourbon to late at night while getting all maudlin. It might be a bit tongue in cheek as she has attacked him with a dull knife but it has that dark feel to it.
Time Served has great echoey vocals over gently strummed guitars that almost feel like they want to be on one of Neil Young's quietest songs. It's rather too gentle and doesn't evoke the Brooklyn streets that Ben Crum and the band inhabit these days, sounding far more bucolic.
Minor Blues is (yep you've guessed) a Minor Blues song that wants to sound like JJ Cale channelling Jesus & Mary Chain but without any of the amplification they use. It feels sad and down and the singer sounds like he's in need of a good hug.
To Live Is to Lose opens like they are back channelling JJ Cale and a little Ry Cooder-style guitar but with indie style vocals. It's an interesting cross-fertilisation of styles and sounds that works pretty well. I like the guitars that are in the far left of the mix in particular and the way they come in and out almost as punctuation.
Kingdom Came is more gentle country blues with indie leanings and vocals about another relationship ending. It's almost a post-argument song where the slide guitar does most of the important talking.
Mixed Blood feels more stripped back, like a country twang song of regret and a bit of yearning that reminds me a little bit of one of the Tedeschi Trucks songs I hear on the radio. It's either them or Danny & The Champions Of the World: a band I've never really got but this song sounds a lot like it could be a single.
Gold is about as Neil Young as the album gets: another gentle strum for a love found and lost that's a bit too slight to be really memorable. Awaking Up Together does feel like a song that would be cool to hear at about 12.30pm when you've woken up from a really great night out and don't want anything to hear anything too drastic as this is more sort of a Little Feat go indie love song.
The album closes with You Could Have Had Me For A Song which is, if nothing else, a great song title and a belter of an album title. It turns out to be a Luna-like: a real gentle hazy indie country song that of course begs the question which song could she have had you for as Ben uses a good few song titles in the lyrics. And yes, Golden Hair would be a good choice for sure.
If you like Gentle country tinged indie from Brooklyn you can find out more at: Great Lakes Bandcamp
or: Great Lakes Facebook Page