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The Mallett Brothers Band

Land – 2013 ( Self-released)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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CDs by The Mallett Brothers Band

Spotlighting the surname belonging to the two offspring of venerable singer/songwriter David Mallett, it's clear that the Mallett Brothers Band have some sort of precedent to propel them along. And yet it's also clear that their influences don't stop there. On "Land," their third outing, this hardy sextet pick from an array of scattered sounds and fuse them into a disparate and varied whole. At times, "Land" becomes a guessing game of name that sound-alike, but mostly it demonstrates there's a vast musical palette that's contributed to their sound.

Indeed, while it seems that they've clearly learned a lesson or two from their dad Dave - what with their rugged journeyman desires - so too, the echoes of other country and crossover forebears have obviously etched an impression. All Kinds of Crazy bears an uncanny resemblance to the classic trucker's tune Six Days on the Road in both its lyric and theme, while Getaway Queen sounds like Bob Seger's Silver Lake, given its gruff vocal and weary remorse. Still, one ought not get the impression that the Malletts merely glean all their ideas from others. The heads-down, forward thrust of Goodnight and the rustic, rootsy resolve of Somethin' To Lean On suggest these guys are perfectly situated to seize the spotlight and work it just as well.

Granted, it's somewhat unusual for a band based out of Portland Maine to sound so southern, what with their frayed edges and uncompromising sprawl. Fortunately though, the Malletts manage to sustain credibility while pursuing their populist ambitions. Ultimately, "Land" may be the discovery that helps them forge a heritage all their own.