Lullaby for the Working Class hails from Nebraska and combines the '90s chamber pop sounds of Lambchop and Tindersticks and the country-rock stylings of Gram Parsons. Originally the band started out as a two-piece with Mike Mogis and Ted Stevens, both singer/songwriter musicians. To make the band complete, AJ Mogis (bass) and Shane Aspegren (drums) joined Lullaby for the Working Class and shortly thereafter the band inked a deal with Bar-None Records while making themselves noticed at various gigs in and around N.Y.C., specifically at the CMJ Music Festival. Their 1996 debut Blanket Warm was critically acclaimed, making ways for fellow Nebraska bands (Commander Venus, Norman Baylor, We'd Rather Be Flying) to venture outside the cornhusker state. A sophomore effort I Never Even Asked for Light followed in 1997 and Song was released two years later.
Slowly crafted between 1994 and 1996, the debut album by Lullaby for the Working Class could be easily categorized along with the alt-country of Palace and Wilco that developed around the same time. And while the Nebraskan foursome certainly base their sound in the same acoustic Americana of these other bands, their extensive use of classical arrangements and chamber instruments gives Blanket Warm a gilded edge over its peers.The hollow strumming on "Good Morning" builds to a crescendo with drums and violin that continues higher on "Honey, Drop the Knife." The group's pop-writing skills are displayed prominently on "Boar's Nest" and "Rye," while the lilting textures of "Eskimo Song Duet" and "Turpentine" show an equal ability to drop conventional arrangements and melodies in favor of mood and, in the case of the latter, which ends with the albums single histrionic outburst of voices which create an incredible impact.Singer Ted Stevens approaches his vocals with a Midwestern neutrality that is mercifully free of hillbilly affect. In fact, Lullaby for the Working Class never resorts to any of the down-home cl....... więcej