Songs: Ohia: The Magnolia Electric Co.
With the wailing lap steel of the album opener "Farewell Transmission," Jason Molina & Company usher in a new day, playing the sort of rock that your cool uncle rolled to back in the '70s. Landing somewhere on the radar sonically between Bob Dylan's Desire and Bob Seger's Beautiful Loser, though thematically in-line with Lynyrd Skynard's "Simple Man," The Magnolia Electric Co lies at the crossroads of working class rock, white soul, swamp rock and outlaw country. Boasting a doo wop-like line-up with five vocalists on the floor, featuring Jennie Benford (of Jim & Jennie & the Pinetops, who was also a key player on Didn't It Rain) and Scout Niblett alongside Jason Molina. Recorded live, in its entirety, at the hands of Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio Studio in Chicago, Illinois, with the same core back-up band that played on the Mi Sei Apparaso Come Un Fantasma Italian live album, this is the record where the Songs: Ohia fan demographics make a radical shift from the dominant bedroom universe of the world's lonely, sensitive, overqualified young white dudes, and finds refuge in the masses by being embraced by the world's truck drivers, sorority chicks, and hockey players, alike. Indeed, this is the first Songs: Ohia record with more than one song that could be played at a strip joint or monster truck show. Amid the mid-tempo slow jams, there lie some of the most upbeat material that Songs: Ohia has recorded to date.