Blitzen Trapper Wild Mountain Nation

Their name sounds more like a German U-Boat than a six-piece from Portland, OR but somehow Wild Mountain Nation, their second full-length, is anything but alienating. In fact, it’s full of comfort, a rather Southern-sounding type of comfort. The album has plenty of that twang-y charm — think mouth harps and banjos — one associates more with the Southeast than the Northwest but they manage to pull it off. When they dedicate themselves to it, that is. Opening track "Devil’s a Go-Go” skips around with a chaotic start then rips into a ’60s pop riff that slowly degenerates. The title track is simple enough with sing-along lyrics, twang-y guitar and yes, even a solo. It’s these types of geographic transgressions that make aspects of this album interesting but somehow a few of these tracks slip into classic ’60s pop. It’s hard to figure out why these influences figure so prominently in an album that sometimes fills the room with the sense of an unlit backwoods cabin. (LidKerCow)