There’s something about the songs of Frontier Ruckus that make us want to move to Michigan and live in a small town surrounded by woods, country homes and seasons that actually change. The second album from a KZUU favorite dropped in the middle of a summer where we were all busy working through hangovers, falling behind in literature classes, tanning on river rocks and proving that we aren’t real adults.
But Frontier Ruckus, the adorable band a handful of KZUUers fell deeply in love with at Birds on a Wire Fest, was playing in Boise. For FIVE dollars and it was at a bar. My recently renewed horizontal ID had yet to be utilized for live music. It was a five hour drive and I listened to The Orion Songbook the whole way down. They began their set with the hot-blooded new single “Silverfishes,” which created an even deeper love for the band and a summer filled with their 2010 release Deadmalls and Nightfalls.
The band is led by the poetic genius* Matthew Milia and backed up by four incredible musicians. Banjos, musical saws, acoustic guitars and accordions play alongside the usual percussion suspects. Deadmalls and Nightfalls is still primarily about hometowns and loving your girl, but the album is a more difficult listen. The more time you invest in it the more in love with the band you will fall. The band doesn’t disappoint when it comes to well-crafted lyrics and catchy hooks.
Frontier Ruckus is so comfortable letting us into their closely-held memories. It seems rare anymore to find people who want to share this much. Frontier Ruckus never fails to remind me that it’s okay to look back on the past and cry or look back on the past and smile.
*note: about the same level of poetic genius as Yoni Wolf of WHY?
Look for this album to slip into the preview racks very soon. I can’t wait to hear what you all think of it.