Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review: Quakers On Probation “Every Living Thing”

You might think you’re seeing double when reading the list of band personnel for Quakers On Probation. Daniel Craig appears twice because this Yakima, WA band is a father-son venture, joined by Graig Markel and a number of other highly talented guests, including the late Grammy Award winning keyboardist Larry Knechtel. Their latest record is called “Every Living Thing”.

Quakers On Probation is an Americana, roots rock and folk outfit that is strongly influenced by the greats from the 60s and 70s, particularly the Beatles and Beach Boys. They call it “twanglepop”, and it is a spot on descriptor of the band’s sound. But in addition to strong melodies and expert musicianship, the lyrics are a true standout on “Every Living Thing”. The opening track reflects on human behavior and revenge with lines such as “You said if you pay it forward, well I say pay it all back”. “Yard Sale” is a solemn and bittersweet reflection of how certain material things are like living things that we cannot easily let go. “Lament for the Aging Rocker” is another treat, full of references to familiar acts now losing their hearing and hair, providing a tongue-in-cheek analysis of the egos interrupting the art. The tune asks if the boys in Def Leppard are going deaf, wonders who will outlive who (one of which has been recently answered), and righteously concludes that Cheap Trick will always be cool. The tune is a must for any rock music fan. Other highlights include “Your Favorite Song”, “I Know A Woman”, and the title track.The record closes with “Chevy Van”, a bonus track featuring a guest vocal appearance from NW folk legend Colin Spring. “Chevy Van” is a cover of Sammy Johns 1974 hit, which Knechtel originally produced.

“Every Living Thing” is one of those rare records you can listen to in its entirety and still want more. Indeed, a great way to “spend your Sunday stretched out on your couch.”

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11

Quakers On Probation on MySpace. Official site.