The late 2010s have seen a bold resurgence in heartland rock acts across the country. Underground musicians in particular have seemed more than willing to embrace the traditional virtues of Americana in the last few years, with an increasing number of indie rock bands beginning to touch on more bucolic themes and countrified harmonies in their sound, delicately toeing the line between genres as they experiment with melody in new exciting ways. Nashville’s The Cerny Brothers were tapping into their inner troubadours long before the trend started, and their new album Looking for the Good Land reflects what they’ve learned along their journey to date. It’s a collection of retrospective tunes, optimistic ballads and even a couple of hard rocking dirges, and if you enjoy reverent alternative country as much as I do it might be just the record you’ve been looking for lately.
In Looking for the Good Land’s “Days of Thunder” we’re beholden to the relationship that The Cerny Brothers have with their influences, which could arguably be described as much closer than most would expect. I’m in no way trying to call them a cover band, but when this song comes guns blazing through the stereo there’s an undeniable reminiscence of mid-80s Bruce Springsteen echoing in the power chords. The Boss’ legacy lives on in this record, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a throwback.
“Where I’m Going” is a lovely little string ballad that is driven by a rollicking beat that is both affectionate and at the same time cutting in its delivery. This track demonstrates a couple of things for me – one, it shows us that The Cerny Brothers don’t have an issue with balancing their harmonies in a song of its airy caliber; and two, it gives us a pretty good estimation of where their compositional depth presently bottoms out. Looking for the Good Landis a fine release, but it lacks a certain pizazz that would garner it the kind of mainstream airplay that most bands in their scene would kill for. These guys are still very much an indie act, and truthfully I don’t know how negative of an attribute that really is.
The Cerny Brothers are definitely contributing their own colorful texture to this record. The brothers were just signed to Legendary label Cleveland International Records and will be debuting their new songs May 6th at The Ryman opening for Jon Anderson. This band is clearly passionate about their medium, and their country and this record contains some really stunning gems for The Cerny Brothers to bolster the next time they go on tour. They’ve proven themselves to be a very capable and worth stopping to appreciate.
Bethany Page approved by Mindy McCall
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