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Monday, April 19, 2010

At the Well

Finitude… the becoming of a storyteller

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Kudos to Milwaukee duo At the Well for reviving and putting a new spin on a 1970s style without making it sound retro. At the Well's Solomon Behnke and Cory Jacobson bring the Me Decade's acoustically folky pop/rock into a compelling sphere with some metallic guitar solos and the kind of oddly funky grooves that were once a given in the work of guys such as Gordon Lightfoot and Bruce Cockburn. At the Well, however, exudes a vocal presence reminiscent of the better side of pre-grunge-explosion hairspray metal, such as Tesla or Cinderella.

The sum of the band's parts makes for a commercial sound that might not have an easy fit on 2010 commercial radio. That's likely to be OK, because the polished quality they offer here should find converts on its own terms. If the album title tips toward pretense, that's true of the lyrics as well. That said, the musings of existential angst are mustered with enough passion to make the navel-gazing largely moot. If they can replicate on stage the studio lushness they have produced here, At the Well could be something else to make Milwaukee famous.