The Love Letter Band

In the documentary No Direction Home, Bob Dylan comes off as uncaring and clueless about the effect America was having on him and the reciprocal effect he was having on it. Deceiver or dumb fuck? It was hard to tell.

Chris Adolf, the core of the indie-pop collective known as the Love Letter Band, is Denver's Dylan. Only he's eminently benevolent -- and not so hard to figure. On Fear Not My Brothers, Fear Not My Sisters (his Blonde on Blonde), Adolf fleshes out elemental acoustic folk with kazoos, xylophones, distortion, pedal steel, chirping birds and primal screams. He stretches his esses before whispering the words "scared shitless," and comes off as simultaneously in lust with the world and disgusted by it. But as erratic as these songs are, Adolf knows what he's doing, whether he knows it or not. On "Iron Maiden Posters," he resurrects his shaky, preteen self while gulping the proclamation "I'm not trying to have kitsch/There's no retro tongue-in-cheek/There's no cheek at all/Just tongue." Dylan couldn't have cooked up a better kiss-off himself.


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