Screen Door Porch "The Fate And The Fruit"
They made it. With all the swapping around of'projects' and cries of 'let's work together' flying around these days, especially in a place like Austin where Screen Door Porch flew to embrace showtime like all the other moths to the flame, they are back with their second full album.
They certainly enjoyed more than a modicum of success with their self titled release in 2010 and won even more friends and plaudits, ourselves among them. But what of the The Fate and The Fruit? Could these two insightful, complementary sages continue their growth two years on and capture that atmospheric journey of self that would project them to the majestic peaks of Americana nobility?
'Devils Honey' is a curious choice of opener, simmering along as it does without giving much away. If you're not familiar with the dynamic of Seador Rose and Aaron Davis then you might find yourself underwhelmed with the "pipe and slippers" air that surrounds the song. But you'd be deceived, once they start warming up their sound becomes more and more vibrant. They swap lead vocals to suit the song and songwriter, a sort of Lennon/McCartney arrangement and get it right every time: Heartfelt yes, earthy certainly, but never languid. 'Needle and a Record' is also misleading, full of hidden messages and father and son dialogue to get your teeth into, although it has an almost lullaby dimension. Things move up a gear as 'Burnin' At Both Ends' and 'Shift Work' show both our heroes at their most gritty, Rose in particular sounding like she means business. Cruise control takes over and the country/folk roots of 'Polka Dot Dress' and 'Lovin Strange' portray both Rose/Davis' vocal chemistry and songwriting ability at their most sublime.
There can be no doubt as to the development made in the two years life experience since we last crossed paths. When Davis sings a story like 'Easy Chair' then people stop talking. With no frills or pretensions he assumes the air of a Townes Van Zant and proceeds to enthrall his audience with tales of a hobo quoting Hunter S Thompson in Texas. 'Wrinkled Neck Mule' and 'Mountains Are Heroes' draw heavily on bluegrass and hillbilly while the his and her aspect constantly provides a quality which, though measured out in equal measure takes you to many different and welcome places. There's a lot of creative prose around focusing on the irrepressible affectations of Austin, Texas and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The reality is that Seador Rose and Aaron Davies go together like bacon and eggs, they're meant for each other. Not that The Fate and The Fruit doesn't bleed the stars and stripes. This is the sound of America, untamed and infinite and these guys sound like they've been doing it for years. Lets hope they keep doing it for a long time to come.