Hoarse & Roaring
Parlor Hawk = Joshua James + Monsters of Folk
Hoarse & Roaring is an impeccable record, but whether that’s a good thing depends on the listener. On one hand, Joshua James did a great job producing (and apparently inspiring the band’s sound). The downside is that this album sounds like the equivalent of that guy at a party who looks like he spent a little too much time on his outfit—it makes me suspicious. For all the tremulous vocal delivery and weepy lap steel, there is nothing affecting or particularly personal on the album, save perhaps the abrupt crescendo in “Julian.” In fact, the album is so thoroughly joyless, it wasn’t until a springy guitar lick opened the fifth track (“Short Road”) that I could even tell these guys were awake. Granted, Hoarse & Roaring is meant to be a languid, intimate record, but there’s a difference between sharing something intimate and merely yanking on the emotion lever. This album does too much of the latter, unless lines like “your tears are the only things that kiss your face” do it for you. Then again, if that’s the case, there are probably 15 other bands in Provo that could make you just as happy.