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Album Review: Buckeye Knoll - People and Place

Buckeye Knoll’s debut full length 'People and Place' has its merits. It is an agreeable slice of folk rock with a few flourishes of greatness mixed into a package that can be unremarkable at times. Where it shines brightest is its lead single “I Roll”, but it is also the albums greatest weakness, as it offers a picture of Buckeye Knoll that is only seen in a fleeting glimpse.

The aforementioned song is easily the best track on the album, a breezy and positive meditation on life backed by a simple yet catchy electric guitar riff. It works so well because it includes female vocals, courtesy of Emily Moldy, and damn good ones at that. Moldy compliments singer songwriter Doug Streblow incredibly effectively, at times even outshining him. This is the major problem with the album, as nothing quite comes close to it and nothing else features Moldy. The added presence is sorely missed on the other tracks as it lifts Buckeye Knoll from an interesting band into a genuinely enjoyable one.

Streblow’s voice itself is to blame for this at times, as it falters on some songs, trying to reach places that seem out of his range. “The Truth” is a perfect example of this, as his voice strains in what tries to be a passionate roar, but comes off as a failed yelp. That is not to say that Streblow is a bad singer, as he is not at all. His voice is rather soothing when he sticks to his dominant range, which he does for most of the record. “Luck Be a Lady” shows this off well and so does album closer “People and Place”, which are simple folksy numbers that don’t feature too many vocal gymnastics.

However as a whole, People and Place lacks the special something that “I Roll” provides. Perhaps more songs featuring Moldy, or even having her join the band would open up the possibilities for the band. For the moment, Buckeye Knoll are an above average folk pop band, and their album is an above average album, yet it is not something that can be wholeheartedly recommended just yet.


'People and Place' by Buckeye Knoll is released on April 20th

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Jamie Kirk

Alter The Press!