The Districts

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The Districts
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<div>Hot on the heels of signing with Mississippi-based label Fat Possum Records, <a href="">The Districts</a> have released an eponymous five-song EP. Bookending the record are a pair of new tracks, &ldquo;Rocking Chair&rdquo; and &ldquo;Stay Open,&rdquo; produced by Bill Moriarty, with three standouts from their self-released LP <i>Telephone</i> - &ldquo;Lyla,&rdquo; &ldquo;Funeral Beds,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Long Distance&rdquo; - sandwiched in between.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="color:#222222">A swirling guitar pattern punctuated by a touch of percussion lays the foundation for Rob Grote&rsquo;s vocals in &ldquo;Rocking Chair,&rdquo; which are delivered at a quick-hitting yet evolving pace. The guitars and percussion build a rolling tempo, before slowing as Grote momentarily admits, &ldquo;If I drink some more, well, I think I might drown. Slip into silence as my heart it burns out. Find the devil inside me, and I nail him back down,&rdquo; capped by a collective exuberant&nbsp;&ldquo;whew&rdquo; setting off an abbreviated example of the quartet&rsquo;s foot-stomping instrumentation. Then, the lyrics take a prophetic twist as Grote emotively utters, &ldquo;If the devil ever comes around, shiver at the sight&hellip;&rdquo; returning to the collective chorus &ldquo;Things ain&rsquo;t what they used to be&hellip;&rdquo; ramping up into an elongated energetic instrumental display including unleashed guitar runs.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="color:#222222">&ldquo;Lyla&rdquo; slows things down creating a more intimate atmosphere befitting the lyrics. The time-placing combination of bass and percussion are accented by acoustic guitar and brightened by touches of organ and strings, while Mark Larson&rsquo;s clear, distancing slide guitar provides an extra dimension as Grote questions, &ldquo;Will we ever be what this heart held for you and me? Will we ever be the same?&rdquo;</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="color:#222222">As the guitar leads into the folk/blues blown harmonica and the &ldquo;on the move&rdquo; train-churning percussion, &ldquo;Funeral Beds&rdquo; encapsulates an ever-escalating heartbreaking blues. &ldquo;These great fields are stretching taking me oh so far&hellip;&rdquo; The song winds through a narrative series of lyrics that with each succeeding line seems to dig deeper into Grote ushering a powerfully raw outpouring of emotion, culminating as the full speed ahead instrumentation and his vocals boil over - &ldquo;And I hate to say I love you, but oh god damn, I love you, you know I do&hellip;&rdquo;</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="color:#222222">&ldquo;Long Distance&rdquo; is a slow-burning blues rocker with a ringing guitar that relates the yearning of separated lovers.&nbsp;Grote introspectively opens up offering heartfelt lyrics - &ldquo;</span><span style="color:#262626">Give me a minute or two to control myself, a minute to get back down to where you are. I just want to come down, and I just want to get back down,</span><span style="color:#262626">to see what this face really means to me.&rdquo;&nbsp;He continuously pushes the envelope, pulling the heartstrings until they appear ready to snap, questioning, &ldquo;Long distance, slow time - is it easier?&rdquo; - ultimately unloading aggression into an instrumental assault before bouncing back to lead the group in an anthem-like sing-along conclusion.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="color:#262626">The EP closes with &ldquo;Stay Open,&rdquo; which bashes the door in with its combination of downhill drums and raucous guitar as Grote croons. As the slide sirens and he exclaims, &ldquo;Won&rsquo;t give my love for free!&rdquo; The song offers an excellent, balanced approach, exemplifying both a natural inclination&nbsp;to exhibit unfiltered feeling, while holding back just enough to orchestrate the polished finish at the song&rsquo;s end. Grote softly pleads,&nbsp;&ldquo;Stay open, stay open to catch my fall, what a shame&hellip;&rdquo; backed by the harmonizing &ldquo;oh my God, falling to pieces, oh my God, falling apart&hellip;&rdquo;</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="color:#222222">The Districts continue to grow and evolve as a group. This EP is both an acknowledgement of their recent past, a snapshot of their present and an indication that the quartet has the makings of an incandescent future. - <i>Michael Colavita</i></span></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div>&nbsp;</div>