Centro-matic Fort Recovery

With the odds of Neil Young ever tearing loose again with Crazy Horse growing longer by the day, the line of those hoping to receive the torch continues to grow too. With Fort Recovery, this Texas quartet, led by singer/songwriter Will Johnson, makes a strong case to be near the front of that line. With strong melodies delivered by Johnson’s aching tenor, these 12 anthems drift by in a haze of glorious feedback. But there’s much going on underneath than raw power, as displayed by how "I See Through You” dissolves into piano, vibes, and violin. Elsewhere, the only way to describe the sound is Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on steroids, as Johnson waxes poetic using tried-and-true Americana symbolism. But among their peers, such as My Morning Jacket, the Drive-By Truckers and Magnolia Electric Co., Centro-matic seems to fall somewhere in between, leaning most heavily on the velvety wall of noise that Johnson and his crew have harnessed over the course of their decade together. For those already prone to such simple pleasures, Fort Recovery is intoxicating. For those merely looking for a lot more guts in their everyday folk rock, this album certainly does the trick too. (Misra)