Personnel: Zach Casebolt (strings).
Audio Mixers: Jeff Zeigler ; Jason Meagher; Promised Land Sound.
Recording information: Battle Tapes, Nashville, TN; Black Dirt, Westtown, NY.
The Nashville indie underground has become a haven for experimental psych and garage combos playing against Music City's reputation for slick country and pop. From the more pastoral end of this spectrum are Promised Land Sound, whose excellent sophomore LP, For Use and Delight, manages a robust rock clamor that sways with an earthy Big Pink-meets-Workingman's Dead spirit. Although they were born out of the city's garage scene, it's clear that the young band's musical allegiances are more aligned with bands like the Flying Burrito Brothers and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Following their 2013 debut, they swapped keyboardist Ricardo Alessio for ace guitarist Peter Stringer-Hye (the Paperhead) and his contributions here, both as an instrumentalist and part-time vocalist, are a key part of their evolved sound. Also joining them on this outing is Mitch Jones from psych group Fly Golden Eagle who mans the keys and acts as a co-producer. Among the 11 tracks here are harmony-laden jangle pop cuts like the opener "Push and Pull (All the Time)" and Dylan-esque rave-ups like "Otherworldly Pleasures," which showcases Promised Land Sound's beefed-up guitar work. With its watery slide guitar riffs and rich harmonies, album highlight "She Takes Me There" channels the gentle psych sweetness of early George Harrison, while the bucolic acoustic ballad "Northern Country Scene" ripples dreamily, showing off the band's extended range and songwriting chops. The music is beautifully captured with an overwhelmingly organic feel in spite of being festooned with plenty of wah-guitar and other tasteful effects. From their clever songcraft to the very natural manner in which they've presented it, Promised Land Sound have delivered a gem with a rambling country-folk feel and plenty of rock vitality. ~ Timothy Monger