Favorite Waitress

Perennial festival presence the Felice Brothers have always seemed most at home bringing their rollicking folk rock to a live crowd. Their last studio LP, 2011's Celebration, Florida, layered synthetic and industrial flourishes to the point of distraction, as though trying to distance themselves from that year's mainstream folk revival. The follow-up strips down, keeping a tight leash on the band's quirks: "Constituents" simmers without boiling, and "Saturday Night" has some sharp lyrical teeth. The lively romp "Lion" – which incidentally sounds great in concert – proves that the Felices translate best on record when they're being their boisterous, rootsy selves.

From The Archives Issue 1212: July 3, 2014