Orb Weaver, released on the heels of the Portland quartet’s reissue of its second LP, finds the band residing in a different place sonically. The group’s former album was a tight blend of harmony-rich country pop, and though its new offering is still Southern-fried and bell-bottomed with sweet guitar riffage, it feels less contrived. Laid-back lead single “Every Mile” and the Byrds-esque “I Never Sleep” both billow with four-part harmonies and lead vocalist Evan Way’s sense of longing. “Lost Again” gently smolders, while tracks like “Borrow Your Car” blaze with spry guitar interplay akin to the Drive-By Truckers.
Meanwhile, “To the
Sky,” with its balmy bassline, introspective lyrics and brief fits of
psychedelia, is the kind of extended power-pop cut that sounds like a
lost Revolver B-side. It’s still brightly polished and jaunty,
but maybe producer Scott McCaughey finally told the band what it needed
to hear most: Just play the damn thing.
SEE IT: The Parson Red Heads play Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., with Mimicking Birds and the Alialujah Choir, on Saturday, Nov. 2. 8 pm. $12 advance, $15 day of show. All ages.