As Oblio Duo, guitarist/vocalist Steve Lawson and drummer Will Duncan paint dusky yet vivid soundscapes that evoke feelings of nostalgia without the retro aftertaste. As with Oblio's previous two releases, Nuclear War captures their warm, lushly eclectic vibe. There is still a warmly melancholic tenor to the music, but this outing, for which the pair is joined by the Archers, Rhodes player Vaughn McPherson and bassist Andy Wild, reveals more of a defiant edge. Not the heavy-handed defiance expressed by many would-be political bands, mind you, but rather an opposition to the demons of the heart and mind. The songs don't run from life's messy, complicated emotion; instead, they embrace and explore those elusive muses with a gentle tenacity. War contains shades of Neil Young, Harry Nilsson and even a bit of Buffalo Springfield. And like each of those artists, Oblio Duo and the Archers know how to use sound to simultaneously stir the heart and the imagination.
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