There’s a saying that goes “Don’t Fix, If It Ain’t Broken.” The same could go to music, and while a stale artist is the worst – experimenting, especially if you don’t know how to properly do it, can be your demise. However, when an artist or a band finds the way to marry the old and the new into one harmonious set of melodies that doesn’t limit to play with nostalgia, but actually in a pretty subtle way brings something fresh into the table – that’s the key of success right there.
Along The Road by Annapolis based original group Dirk Schwenk & The Truth is a record that knows how to walk the thin line between different decades of both rock and pop in a way that doesn’t feel manipulative, but rather fun thanks to the way the band knows how to bend genres with such an ease.
“Table Set For Two” kicks off the record in a very upbeat way with its incredible guitar solo that unleashes throughout the song and Schwenk’s harmonious vocals adds a very timeless tone into a song that goes between the classic Cosby, Still & Nash era though at the same time it feels very 90s with Dirk vocals reminding me a lot to Jason Mraz and John Mayer. “The River” moves away from the Rock in exchange for something much Country with the entire band fully embracing this and the way it transits from genre to the other it’s so incredible in a pretty frightening way.
The rest of the album finds the band going into other different places, again, with such an ease that rarely even the biggest names in music can archive. There’s a sense of consistency, but not in a bad way. There’s a type of sound the band has pretty much call their own and that can be felt throughout the record, however, they also get to go into different places, creating in each song this really nice duality that’s both fitting and engaging. My only nitpick it would have to be, perhaps, there’s still a sense of familiarity that sometimes distracts me; but hopefully by the next album, they will get to play with much different melodies and perhaps bringing some much stronger distinctive qualities of their own into the music.
Criteria - 85%
In the end, Along The Road by Dirk Schwenk & The Truth isn’t fully the most original album there, however, it knows how to take what’s already been created and adding their own subtle twists and turns.