Something in the water of the U.S. state of Oregon must be highly conducive to a particularly fine mix of inspiration and creativity. Having set a very high bench mark with their 2009 album 'The Hazards Of Love', fellow Portland band The Decemberists also made it more than acceptable to love an album based around a fully developed conceptual story line. (If you thought Prog-Rock had done its damndest to kill the concept album there are now numerous, and fantastic, contemporary examples that suggest otherwise) 'The High Country', from Richmond Fontaine, more than exceeds that previous bench mark both in terms of overall quality but especially in the harrowing, emotive, ultimately tragic but always gripping story line.
The High Country is like a play in four parts with enough twists to keep Dale Cooper and Will Dormer busy amongst the evergreens. If the Coen brothers haven't already they should take a listen and formulate the screenplay before someone else seizes the opportunity. The tale of love, lust, drugs, domestic violence and eventual murder all centre around the logging community on the outskirts of the City of Clatskanie. Depending on your want you could argue the case either way as to its likely influence on future visitor numbers!
Continue reading: Richmond Fontaine, The High Country Album Review