The lines of folk music have been forced open by a cluster of new artists operating under the cover of indie rock, hidden from the stereotypical folk fans. With Bill Callahan (Smog) and Samuel Beam (Iron and Wine) and others pulling from early roots music and adding their own distinct blend of dark, vivid lyrics, a new genre of folk has surfaced. This indie-folk road has become the path to a wonderfully intelligent world of songwriting, and Glasgowï¿½s Sons and Daughters are in the driverï¿½s seat of a gigantic fourteen-wheeler.
With an amazing seven-song EP that came out in the fall of 2003, Sons and Daughters had firm believers upon first landing. Love the Cup was a collection of American roots music turned sideways, tied in a Scottish knot and blended with descriptive songwriting that never missed a beat. With The Repulsion Box, the bandï¿½s debut full-length for Domino, itï¿½s clear that Sons and Daughters are more than just musicians out to resurrect roots music and make a quick dime off a burgeoning group of indie folksters. Sons and Daughters are creating their own style of roots music with a twist of dirty garage rock.
The Repulsion Box finds itself in a hauntingly dark forest where Adele Bethel and Scott Paterson tell stories of murder and betrayal, leaving you with nothing more than a cold chill. Bethelï¿½s light, angry style of singing juxtaposes perfectly with Patersonï¿½s dark monotone delivery. Together they create a sound Stephen King would pray for. ï¿½Red Receiverï¿½ and ï¿½Dance Me Inï¿½ take a country shuffle, inject it with early roots blues and a spike it with a touch of Nick Cave. Repulsionï¿½s shining star, ï¿½Rama Lama,ï¿½ takes a page from the Talking Headï¿½s ï¿½Pyschokillerï¿½ and vividly describes a murder scene — even down to the ï¿½click click clickï¿½ of the murderï¿½s heels. Each song pulls you deeper into The Repulsion Box, telling the story of a style of roots music that can only be described as killbilly rock.
The Repulsion Boxï¿½s simple snare shuffles, eerie bass rhythms and occasional burst of fuzzed guitar create a definitive sound that warms the heart while terrifying the soul. The album showcases Bethel and Paterson as solid songwriters who can willingly carry you into places no god-fearing man would dare travel. This is the soundtrack for the next cold evening you find yourself with a bottle of Scotch in one hand, a rusty ice pick in the other, and the ripe smell of death in the air.