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Head for the Hills

Head for the Hills uses misdirection like a veteran magician on Blue Ruin. The album kicks off with "Take Me Back," an easygoing, rambling ballad steeped in traditional bluegrass. The rest of the record, however, is a surreal, heady and innovative fusion of styles. "Never Does" offers a dark and brooding narrative with complementary moody music, while the mandolin work on "Priscilla the Chinchilla" is frenetic enough to fit the profile of a prog-rock band, and "Breakfast Noir" includes jazz cues that feel straight out of a beatnik coffee shop. The lyrics are just as bold, reflecting the band's knack for wordplay. All of these elements make for an innovative mix, one that shows that this quartet isn't bound by its roots in bluegrass tradition.