Hurry Home

UNCUT - - New Albums - ROB HugHES

New Or­leans col­lec­tive ex­pand their hori­zons

One of the more fas­ci­nat­ing as­pects of Hur­ray For The Riff Raff’s as­cent to some­thing ap­proach­ing great­ness has been the emer­gence of The Deslondes. Three of its five mem­bers – Sam Doores, Dan Cut­ler and Cameron Sny­der – have his­tory in Alynda Se­garra’s out­fit, prior to be­ing joined by fel­low trav­ellers Ri­ley Down­ing and John James Tourville. The mu­sic they first ham­mered into shape as The Deslondes bor­rowed from a sim­i­lar set of di­verse US in­flu­ences, most no­tably old-school R&B and a law­less brand of coun­try. Th­ese two el­e­ments dom­i­nated their self-ti­tled de­but of 2015, but the two-year in­terim seems to have broad­ened their stylis­tic reach. Again co-pro­duced by Alabama Shakes af­fil­i­ate An­drija To­kic, Hurry Home finds The Deslondes ex­plor­ing the con­nec­tions be­tween surf, rock’n’roll, honky­tonk and South­ern soul to fash­ion a won­der­fully in­ter­change­able whole. It’s a por­ous di­a­logue that owes much to the band be­ing blessed with five song­writ­ers, all of whom share lead vo­cals.

The most dis­tinc­tive voice be­longs to gui­tarist Ri­ley Down­ing, whose whiskery bari­tone brings to mind the gruff ab­strac­tions of Steve Earle or the late Robert Fisher, es­pe­cially on lan­guid beau­ties “Just In Love With You” and “Muddy Wa­ter”. The lat­ter’s warm pro­ces­sion of small­town mem­o­ries plugs into the al­bum’s themes of wan­der­lust and reverie. With its wist­ful har­mon­ica, low-key bal­lad “Beau­ti­ful Friend” weighs the cost of life on the road against ro­man­tic con­stancy. Else­where, the ram­bling shuf­fle and adroit har­monies of “Déjà Vu And A Blue Moon” de­pict a world where home is the only true fix for the winds of the high­way. This kind of broody ru­mi­na­tion is pe­ri­od­i­cally slapped aside by songs built for a creaky juke joint floor. “One Of Th­ese Lone­some Morn­ings” swings be­tween ’50s rock­a­billy and roustabout coun­try, with lash­ings of twang. “Ev­ery Well” sounds like a par­tys­tarter in a sweaty New Or­leans bar, drenched in Ham­mond fills. And Tourville’s aptly ti­tled “Hur­ri­cane Shake­down” re­calls the clat­ter­ing brio of High­way 61-era Dy­lan. An end­less mu­tat­ing treat from dawn ’til dusk.

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