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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Harmony Indiana

America's Physic

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With its recreation of a raucous fundamentalist prayer meeting, “Devil Take the Hindmost” opens America's Physic on a Flannery O'Connor note. What follows can often be categorized as Americana, but not everything by Milwaukee's New Harmony Indiana is easy to peg. The hootenanny sing-along “Before She Goes” detours down a Beatlesque bridge. “Crystal” conjures ghosts of Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two, yet like many of the band's lyrics, the words (with their theme of memory against the “march of progress”) balance the archaic with the contemporary. Recorded in a loose, live-sounding session, America's Physic presents 15 comfortably worn songs that explore freedom and responsibility, the unfinished aftermath of death and, on “That Was the Modern World,” coming of age at the dawn of punk rock. More than just a collection of strong tunes, America's Physic has the flow and contrast of a great album.

New Harmony Indiana performs 7 p.m. April 21 at Circle-A Café with Will Phalen and the Stereo Addicts.