Rural Electric
"The Road To Hell Is Paved"

(Losers/Weepers Records 2006)Rural Electric - The Road To Hell Is Paved

Rural Electric's sophomore album sees them branching out. The onetime twosome is now a trio. Original members Andy Vietze and Alan Gibson have enlisted Andrew Carpenter to play piano, cello and vibes for Rural Electric. Vietze and Gibson are wasting no time putting their friend to work. Throughout "The Road To Hell Is Paved," piano and cello gently wash over listeners while the vibes offer soft melodic accents. But it is the understated and unrushed melodies, which gently find their way, that are the real focus of Rural Electric's album.

Carpenter even gets the first shot to shine as opening track "Aurora Borealis" is a short piano and cello instrumental that is rich and fluid as the melody sways back and forth with the cello's bowing. Solid indie rock like "Personal Mythology" and "Your Institution" get things moving with up tempo melodies while keeping the mood low. Full instrumentation that is deep and thoughtful with understated melodies and smooth vocals remind of R.E.M. on "Armistice" and "There Goes Another Woman." Meanwhile on "Brilliant Minds," steady acoustic guitar and slightly echoing vocals blend with twinkling vibes.

What a long and winding road the road to Hell is. Or at least the path that Rural Electric take; maybe they got their directions from the Internet? The delicate melodies of "The Road To Hell Is Paved" are sometimes tender, sometimes extremely charming but they also like to drag on occasion and take the scenic route. Folksy indie rock with a lo-fi edge, Rural Electric's "The Road To Hell Is Paved" is a charming and modest album.

B-

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