By now, you've probably heard something about Portland's Blitzen Trapper. They've put out their own albums before but it's their new record, Wild Mountain Nation, that has finally garnered the attention of the (blog) masses. People have been calling it Pavement meets The Grateful Dead and while that's a pretty decent way of describing them, the record is so all over the place (in a great way), that it's hard to take any description seriously.
The title track, which begs to be played at high volumes, is one of the standouts of the album. It's a sunshine soaked country rock ditty reminiscent of Goose Creek Symphony and the Dazed and Confused soundtrack. Although it tips its hat to yesteryear, it never sounds throwback-y or schtick-y. It'll usher in the summer real well and once you hear it, it's pretty hard to stop playing.
The rest of the record is just as contagious and varies from the great parody bluegrass of "Wild Mtn. Jam" to the 70's Dylan of "Country Caravan" and all the way back to Pavement dissonance of "Woof & Warp Of The Quiet Giant's Hem." Each song has something special to offer. They all come from different places but seem to fit next to each perfectly.
Wild Mountain Nation is just about the best thing I've heard all year. Maybe it's because the sun is out, maybe it's because I love anything that evokes The Dead, and maybe it's because it's DAMN good. Probably all three.