There's plenty to crow about when it comes to this new track from Portland's Modern Kin. For one, the project is the phoenix-like transformation of what was once known as Drew Grow & the Pastors Wives. The group still maintains the core trio of that band—singer-guitarist Grow, drummer Jeremiah Hayden and bassist Kris Doty—but in keeping with its stripped-back instrumentation, the music now cuts quicker, sharper and often deeper than ever before.
As well, the band's debut self-titled album (hitting the streets on October 22) introduces Quasi/Wild Flag drum-gasmer Janet Weiss in the role of producer. Having only heard a scant few tracks from this new LP, all I can say is that she seems to take the position of another great producer-drummer, Tommy Ramone, in that she tends to leave Modern Kin alone, letting the pure drive of the songs call the shots. Whether she had a hand in the "Baba O'Riley"-type keyboard work on this track is unclear, but it is an awesome touch. Top it off with the fact that famed producer Dave Fridmann (he's worked on all the Flaming Lips albums from The Soft Bulletin on) mixed this new track, bringing out the small sonic details that might otherwise get glossed over by less sure hands.
Most importantly, the song is a great one, and the latest example of what makes Grow's lyrical and musical visions some of the best in the city. It's an anthem of addiction, of struggling with one's personal demons, and with the help of caring soul, coming out ahead. "Abandon," in this case, is a very good thing, indeed.