Arbouretum Coming Out of the Fog

ArbouretumComing Out of the Fog
It's a leaner, grittier iteration of Arbouretum that slowly lopes out of the starting blocks on this fifth full-length. Hints of highland twilight folk still colour the edges of the songs, but fuzzed-out bass lines and tub-thumping drums dominate the meat of the album. "The Promise" and "World Split Open" are two tracks that would easily fit on Now That's What I Call Stoner Rock, Vol 4.20, next to anything by labelmates White Hills or Wooden Shjips. As the topics turn more watery, as on "Oceans Don't Sing" and closer "Coming Out of the Fog," the soundtrack also calms to fill the open space, notably with the contribution of David Hadley, who guests on pedal steel. Dave Heumann continues to steer the band on a course that swerves between the heavy/heady poles of '70s-inspired rock, with an eye on anthems and a foot planted on the muddy earth. (Thrill Jockey)