New Country Rehab Ghost of Your Charms

New Country RehabGhost of Your Charms
After establishing themselves as one of the most exciting folk-rock acts in Canada with their self-titled 2011 debut, this latest effort finds the Toronto, ON quartet swinging for the fences. With their high-energy, acoustic sound, New Country Rehab certainly possess all the tools to achieve a Mumford & Sons-like crossover into pop, which producer Chris Stringer is conscious of. Ghost of Your Charms pulses with the anticipation of reaching moments in each song where performer and listener firmly connect, and there are plenty throughout. The emphasis on song-craft over virtuosity remains NCR's greatest strength, considering the abilities of all four members, particularly frontman/fiddler John Showman and guitarist James Robertson. They flawlessly switch gears from the arena-rousing "Lizzy Dying of a Broken Heart" to the dark blues of "Rollin'" and the easy-flowing "Home To You." Juxtaposed covers of country classics "Image of Me" and "Too Many Parties and Too Many Pals" are effective, but sound tacked on. The original material on Ghost of Your Charms is fine on its own, showing how well New Country Rehab continue to carve out their niche as a band that deserve to be included in any folk revival conversation. (Kelp)