Although technically Okkervil River is also a 00’s band with their first album coming in 2000, I am going to avoid comparing them to Arctic Monkeys or even the Dirtbombs because I feel they are in another category. They have an amazing blend of folk rock with excellent song writing. My favorite albums of theirs are all the ones starting with Down the River of Golden Dreams. This is also a band that just keeps getting better as their sound matures. Or perhaps it is just necessary change due to the revolving door in the rhythm section but in any case, The Stage Names is an outstanding album from 2007 would probably be where I’d start if I was re-discovering this band. “Savannah Smiles” is heartbreakingly beautiful. “John Allyn Smith Sails” is a great song that turns unexpectedly into a Beach Boys cover. “Girl in Port” and “Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe” are also wonderful. The companion album from 2008, “The Stand Ins” is a necessary compliment to “The Stage Names”. I am sure that if you haven’t ever heard of them, you’ll be glad you did. I saw them in concert in about 2008 here in Paris and was right in front of the stage as Will spit and screamed his way through the set. His is a true rock-n-roll spirit. I hope that the band will take him wherever he wants to go.
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