Nashville native and drummer turned frontman Eric Shiveley has probably heard enough Michael Stipe comparisons to choke a horse -- or any animal from Chronic Town to Dead Letter Office, for that matter. But Shiveley's vocal resemblance to Athens's most notoriously tortured soul is worth noting -- as is his knack for penning stream-of-consciousness lyrics that avoid literal interpretation. (From "Clearwater": "I know what John Wayne means when he goes on forgetting/Leave me/Don't let it get all quiet/Leave me where trees line by it/Air marks where no one tired.") A fine tunesmith in his own right, Shiveley gets off to a rollicking start on his third full-length with "Diamondhead," a propulsive, steel-guitar-enhanced hoedown that livens up an album otherwise dedicated to mid-tempo melancholy. Playing every instrument himself save for a handful of muscular guitar solos (El Fiend's Dan Garcia and Kevin Yost from Halden Wofford & the Hi Beams join avant-dobroist Janet Feder for some fancy six-string shootouts), Shiveley contemplates isolation in wide-open spaces -- perhaps most compellingly during a brief cinematic interlude titled "Desde Alla." Refining its own dusty acre of well-trod, balladeer-style folk rock, Way adheres to a classic sound -- one as American as drinking canned beer in an Airstream. (See www.ericshiveley.com).
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Denver, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.