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Blitzen Trapper

All Across This Land – 2015 (Vagrant)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper's opens with its title track, a rollicking Faces-like dose of rock and roll fury. However, it's in the quieter moments where this band communicates most effectively. "Rock and Roll (Was Made For You)," which bumps along like a Traveling Wilburys mid-tempo tune, includes the line, "The things you love can do the most harm." But like that nicotine addict, outside the office sucking down another cancer stick, these guys can't stop playing that harmful rock & roll - even if it kills them.

The group further states its undying belief in the superpower of rock and roll during "Mystery and Wonder" when they sing, "And if I'm older now/Well, it's all just an act." Yes, the love of dangerous rock & roll can keep a person young. (Or at least that's what we tell ourselves).

Although rock music is one of the driving forces behind the music, some nice country-esque steel guitar nevertheless colors "Love Grow Cold." "Even If You Don't" also clips along at cowpoke speed, while "Let the Cards Fall" features a sonic that hearkens back to Harvest-era Neil Young.

One wonders if the teenage son separated from his dad spoken of in "Cadillac Road" was parent-parted due to some of the excesses of rock. The song has one of those majestic piano parts so often associated with Bruce Springsteen's anthem-esque music. In fact, The Boss has sung a lot about Cadillacs over the years ("Cadillac Ranch," "Pink Cadillac" and others), so this Springsteen connection must surely not be coincidental.

There is much to digest in Blitzen Trapper's excellent "All Across This Land," and it serves as both a celebration and a warning about the explosive properties of rock and roll.