Having a sound that can fall easily into two genres can be an advantage, you can pull in an audience from two places but it can be a difficult thing walking a line between two sounds. You don’t to veer too far into one because you also want to stay true to the other, but The Fargo Railroad Company have got it absolutely bang on.
The sound is made up of Americana and Southern rock and at times can feel it sits somewhere between Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty and 90’s Bon Jovi but still relies on good song writing and story telling to pull it above the crowded world of the Americana scene.
The whole exercise is a lesson in fully formed songs. Within the album lies a postcard to country music with a solid foundation from the drums and bass. Add some smart guitar, intelligent lyrics and something that is often missing from todays music; space, and you’ve got an album that succeeds on all levels and will probably be something you return to again and again.
The mood of the album reminds me of 90’s singer and pianist Joshua Kadison, he was a one-hit wonder, but his album was choc-full of stories from small town America, over-the-hill women, working men fighting the bottle and the everyday stories of relationships.
We visit this kind of world here, ‘Barroom Band’ is the tale of playing music in the badly-lit backstreet bars, ‘Punch Drunk’ is a catchy cleverly-written tune which feels like a sequel to Heaton and Abbot’s ‘D-I-V-O-R-C-E’ with its call and return chorus but there are also radio-friendly songs in ‘Something In The Water’, ‘Arizona Dust’ and opener ‘Bought And Sold’.
The album is managed very well, treating the listener to a dancey tune before a ballad style in ‘Coast To Coast’, but it all feels connected and coherent.