Published Jun 06, 2014Calling For John a departure from Library Voices' previous works doesn't quite do the seven-song EP justice. Though holding onto the golden prairie pop hooks of Summer of Lust, the band stripped away the clean production to the lowest of lo-fi, making a record that sounds almost identical played through both a pair of good monitors as it does through $10 Sony headphones. The new aesthetic works seamlessly, making the album a love letter to the days of early FM broadcasting.
Like changing frequencies on a wood-paneled broadband radio, the collective jumps from one style to another: One moment the band snarls with a hypnotic blues groove on "Some Mezcal Morning," then erupts into the high-octane surf of "Space Age," then crawls to the effects-riddled instrumental "Snowshoe Training Might Save Your Life." Each song is catchy and heartfelt, best exemplified on the uptempo "Use Your Allusion" and "John Farrell Buffalo," a heartland rocker written for the late John Farrell, a close friend of the band and Buffalo radio DJ who inspired the album and its mournful, often nostalgic lyrics. Farrell "still believed in rock n' roll," and after a good listen, this album may restore your faith, too. (Prairie Shag)