Larry and His Flask By The Lamplight

Larry and His Flask By The Lamplight
6
Contrary to the name, Larry and his Flask are actually a six-piece acoustic powerhouse, and one of the more innovative in the recent wave of olde-tyme revivalists. Originally a punk outfit from Oregon, their decision to unplug in 2008 hardly dampened that spirit, and By The Lamplight blazes from aptly title opener "Pandemonium" onwards. While the group do a nice job bludgeoning their country and bluegrass influences into submission on "Home of the Slave" and "Cruel Twist of Fate," the album's best moments come when frontman Ian Cook takes his foot off the gas on ballads "Gone From You" and "All That We've Seen." While acts like Larry and his Flask have injected a great amount of new energy into folk-rock, there's still too much bluster when compared to the original country punks, who were hell-bent on uncovering something mystical in the music. Regardless, Larry and his Flask are still better than Mumford & Sons. (Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club)