Blitzen Trapper Does it Again
Listeners have been lucky these past few years, because albums from veteran alt-country rockers, Blitzen Trapper, have been coming out at assembly line speed. After switching labels over to Vagrant Records in 2013 with their record VII, they have also come out with two live albums, Live in Portland and a live cover of Neil Young’s Harvest, titled Live Harvest. These live albums have been somewhat of a precursor for their eighth studio album All Across This Land. On their tour supporting Live Harvest, they started sprinkling in songs from the new album. Bandleader Eric Earley described their concept as trying to get a sound true to their live performances.
With All Across This Land they delivered an album full of songs that John Mellencamp wishes he would have written. The title track “All Across This Land” kicks off the record with a fierce electric riff soon answered by another soaring axe. This track sets up the listener for an aggressive roots rock record with Earley’s ever so slightly twanged voice singing amazing lyrics like “Love is forever / But forever ain’t long.”
While many tracks follow the classic rock lead, this record is willing to switch it up to a more country feel. Whatever direction that Blitzen Trapper decides to take a track, the listener will be treated to clever and distinctive instrumentation. They might bring in a high flying slide guitar, or even a synthesizer just to prove they can do whatever they want.
To complement the earnestly composed music, songwriter Eric Earley stays close to songwriting staples of the open road and love sweet love. The lyrics are instantly relatable and sound truly sincere. This is the kind of honest American songwriting that is just classic Springsteen.
It really isn’t a surprise that Blitzen Trapper put out yet another enjoyable record. Solid earnest lyrics backed by guitar riffs that vary all the way from hard hitting hot licks to steady sweet picking. This album belongs in the CD player of a car driving into the night, and anywhere else someone wants to listen to good music.