Alcoa is the project of Derek Archambault, better known as the singer of Melodic Hardcore band Defeater. And although Alcoa is going on for longer, most of you probably know Derek’s Singer-Songwriter’s side from that particular band. The last four songs of Defeater’s excellent 2011 release Empty Days & Sleepless Nights already showcased his country/folk side, which seems to be in full bloom on Alcoa’s debut release.
Bone & Marrow starts of with its most catchy and straightforward pop song, ‘Keep Track / Lose Track’. A pretty sounding little piece of music, which is a great introduction to an album full of raw emotion and lyrics about traveling and being on the road. Tracks like ‘Limbs’ and ‘Lucky Me’ feature the same energy and band, with instruments like a banjo and pedal steel guitar and backing vocals by Alyssa Eygnor (Archambault’s fiancee).
Archambault has stated before he wanted to write songs like Gram Parsons, Elliot Smith, and Johnny Cash. Of course Bone & Marrow features echoes from these legends, but still manages to keep it’s own fresh sound. The real beauty on this record comes from the more minimal songs like ‘I Don’t Feel Welcome Here or Anywhere’, ‘Cab Rides and Cigarettes’ and ‘Whiskey and Wine’. Which most of the time feature nothing more than two guitars and a touching voice.
So isn’t a record like this a bit of a black sheep on a label like Bridge Nine? Well, music wise maybe, but with a scene that already embraces names like Chuck Ragan, Brian Fallon and Frank Turner, Alcoa is on its right place. You don’t to have to be a big Country/Singer-Songwriter fan to enjoy this record anyway, Hardcore and Punkrock fans will do just fine with this debut too.
Track list - Bone & Marrow:
1. Keep Track/Lose Track
3. I Don’t Feel Welcome Here or Anywhere
4. Cab Rides & Cigarettes
6. Second Untitled
8. Lucky Me
9. Family Tree
10. Whiskey & Wine
11. Third Untitled
Written by Niels Koster