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Solid base from which to explore

Double Happiness
Double Happiness
By the Truckee Brothers

Populuxe Records: 2007

Buy it now

This review first appeared in Turbula in May 2007.

Grounded in straight-ahead rock 'n' roll but exploring all kinds of neat nooks and crannies, San Diego's Truckee Brothers are certainly one of the more interesting bands playing today. Their continual willingness to try something new while always trying it with exceptional musicianship reminds a bit of Wilco or Widespread Panic; the Americana/roots groove at the base of everything wild they do calls to mind Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt.

They take in a broad stylistic range on their new album, "Double Happiness." From slow, folkish songs like "I Am Nature" and "Bon Voyeurage" to the alt psychedelia of "Purple Waves of Gain" (a song that also displays their fun sense of wordplay, which also comes through in their lyrics) and the straight-ahead hard rock of "Kiss My Komodo" and "Mega Watt," few bands can sound so equally at home and utterly confident in so many different rock styles.

"Planning for the 21st Century" shows off the advantage of having multiple singers with distinct voices; the interplay on the call and response lead vocals and then the merge into harmony is both well designed and gorgeously executed.

With so many of these songs having seductive little melodic hooks that get stuck in your head, the combination of great playing and intriguing arrangements makes "Double Happiness" nearly impossible to get out of your CD player.