Review: Volcano Choir – Repave

October 16th, 2013 by Billy Dries


VC.SP_DP_Gate_Cover_rev [Converted]Volcano Choir

Repave

Grade: A

The organ drone that kicks off Repave, the sophomore album from Eau Claire based band Volcano Choir, immediately captures the listener and sets them on this epic journey of an album. Justin Vernon and friends have been hard at work since Bon Iver hung up their instruments at the end of 2012. Vernon already released one album with his band The Shouting Matches this year, and while that was a foot stomping and jug blowing good time, Repave and Volcano Choir pick up where Bon Iver left off. Just as the lead single, “Byegone”, had alluded to over the summer, each song grows in complexity from beginning to end, resulting in an album of rich folk anthems. Using a much more subdued voice than his signature falsetto, Vernon tells slow rambling stories to the likes of Charles Bukowski himself, featured on the track “Alaskans”.  Released September 3, 2013 via Jagjaguwar, the album has seized much of the same fan base that Vernon acquired as Bon Iver, but don’t tell him that! He assures us that this is not simply a rebranding of Bon Iver, but is a brand new band. Although the band did release an album, Unmap, in 2009 it is almost as if this is their debut, as so much has happened to Justin Vernon since then, when his fame was just waxing. Now a world famous, Grammy winning Vernon could take the reigns and create an album of fantastic songs under a name that carries less weight than Bon Iver. Repave is a testament to that, and easily deserves my grade of A.




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