Published Feb 14, 2014The Blazing Elwoods are the country project of Sudbury-based singer-songwriter Brent Wohlberg. His new album, Don't Sell the Car, is a variety-show collection of thrown together songs featuring musical guests and predictable outcomes. The Blazing Elwoods are, in reality, a group of talented musicians composing unimaginative country pieces with little bite and less resonance.
Every song on Don't Sell the Car was evidently crafted in careful, cookie-cutter fashion, often borrowing identical instrumentation and arrangement from Canadian predecessors. The lyrics are forcefully obvious and genre-specific, lacking any effective hooks for a listener to hang their hat on. With tracks often suffering from over-eagerness, Wohlberg's best recording on the album is the slow-down title track. While other songs like "Tractor" and "Big Red Rooster" have a Red-Green charm, "Don't Sell the Car" has the most power. There is joy in their playing and banter but, despite a few strong offerings, the album suffers from a lack of style and the results are ambiguous and vague.
Don't Sell the Car is an appropriate title; the parts involved in The Blazing Elwoods project have the talent to create a fine vehicle but are without creative direction. The platitudinous themes lack necessary poignancy and the songs are deprived of a tangibly exciting destination. Wohlberg and friends will need to keep driving before they reach that elusive country milestone and will need all of their inspired gas to get there. (Independent)