Progressive bluegrass is a real thing!
There is an energy to this album that is both infectious and beguiling and marketing itself as progressive bluegrass is an interesting concept. Opening with the title track these post-punk explorers on the edge of genres set their stall out with verve and brio and some very fine instrument playing. Centered on the banjo and fiddle axis the album plays out at a terrific lick as track follows track with barely a pause for breath, the vocals alone on ‘Where I’m At’ are real lung busters as all three components ( banjo, fiddle and vocals) chase the melody to the finish line. There’s even more of a hint of this Prog Bluegrass label with which they come with the aptly titled ‘Metamorphic Prophesy’ which flirts with the effects pedals as it weaves a fiddle round the shronky rhythm. If Rick Wakeman played the fiddle…..
Ultimately though it matters little how you try to pigeonhole Sicard Hollow they are essentially a band of excellent musicians who favour the instruments and basic style of bluegrass and this album works well enough without really breaking any new ground despite the implications. The sounds are too familiar and the rhythms too recognisable. That said this album has energy, wonderful musicianship and does reward repeated listens for anyone interested in new music hewn from the old.