A.C. Cantrell – Hard To Follow

Written on

June 10, 2011

Spending my early teens inside the Arkansas music scene, I’ve seen a ton of band come and go, some horrible, some amazing. For the longest time I’ve heard whispers of a band called A.C. Cantrell but they never really stuck to me. Maybe it was because their live show is a must-see, which I’ve never seen either. After I did the Love Begotten review, Jacob Sayers of A.C. Cantrell got a hold of me to do a review. I was gonna do it either way but I was kind of interested on what the album would sound like since it is a 12 track full-length of everything they’ve put out since being a band. As much as I wanna call these dudes just down and dirty rock n’ roll, they have a bit more to them than just the music they play. The vibes they give off as dudes and on record is somewhat of a holy journey through unknown territory.

I’ll jump to it really quick and tell you that as a whole, this album is pretty nice if you like The Chariot to an extent. I’ve listened to the album a good 4 to 5 times since I woke up this morning and I can only complain about a couple things, nothing major though. The positives of this album are the features of a couple different people, the way the album just flows so well and that you can sort of imagine what their live show would be like just by listening to the full record. The features from Jesse Conn of A Sequence of Ghosts on the track “Snakes On Ice” is a very nice touch to the whole southern rock n’ roll feel the track has. That whole track, honestly, is pretty much a diamond. From the way the sweeps change in an instant to the way the guitarist just keep the groove throughout the whole track. Another huge plus on this record is the special appearance from the beautiful and amazing Alexia Flower on the track “Woody Was A Man”. Just the way Alexis Flowers voice glides in at the end of the track, it gives you that feel of home and just laying under the stars. Overall, that track has to be one of my favorites just because it’s something a little different from the normal, hectic drive the rest of the record has.

Although the album does drop off a bit around the middle with a track called “Jon’s Favorite Song” it does pick right back up around track eight with “Snakes On Ice”. In all honesty, I tried so hard to dig the tracks “Jon’s Favorite Song”, “My Grandpa Was Republican” and the intro, “055709”, I just couldn’t. It might be that those tracks have way to many breakdowns in them, maybe it’s fact that I believe this band is very able to write more talented solos or just different chords to cover those breakdowns, either way, this band has talent. It shows huge in the tracks “Hard To Follow” and “Stacia”, and the opening to “Lawrence and the Korean Mustache”, all I can say is holy hell. Here’s a small piece of lyrics from that song:

It’s time to silence our enemies with force. Everybody to the deck, let’s get this ship in motion. Load the cannons. Sharpen the swords. Our captain leads us to war. Swords will clash. Cannons rattle. It all ends with one battle. And as the sun rises and the victor is shown in the smoldering wreckage of the crimson see. We push through the planks, dead bodies afloat.

My only complaint for this record is, like I said above, I believe this band is more talented then they seem to show. The breakdowns are a huge part of why bands sell these days but when you have the real talent behind a 5-piece like these dudes do, why not just bring out all the stops and show us what you got. I dig this album though, it’s a nice thing to put on when you want to escape the hell’s of this world and just be more in touch with the spiritual side of things. Keep it up and hopefully I’ll be able to catch these guys live soon enough, it’s something I’d love to check out. The links below are everything you need for A.C. Cantrell, send them love on Facebook and Myspace or if you’re a local, go see them live.

Official Facebook. Official Myspace. Buy their shit here.

[Retired] A cool kid with no talent but tons of heart! A passion for grindcore and writing in general pushes me onward to reach new heights within music journalism.