Lincoln Has Won (Reel to Reel Records)
Few bands claiming the Americana label are as alive in the present as well as the past as The Habit. Lincoln Has Won opens with the rousing “War Is Done,” which reverberates with Dylan's “Chimes of Freedom,” an especially inspired night at an Irish pub in Brooklyn and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” from a Union perspective. If The Clash had ventured into alt country, then “Ballad Of” could be a lost track from London Calling. With lovely balladry, campfire folk songs and raging bursts of '60s rock guitar, Lincoln Has Won deserves consideration among the year's best albums—in Americana and any other category.