Aloha follows the acclaimed LP Some Echoes (2006) and acoustic EP Light Works (2007) with a powerful record that shows the band unbound by past influences and boldly stepping out of the shadows.
Home Acres pushes the tempos and dials up the guitars, with the band’s slow-burn intensity sometimes overflowing into huge moments. But even as the energy surges, Aloha casts an otherworldly glow, serving up ambience and attack with equal measure. Lyrically, Home Acres tries to sort through the wreckage of the Great Lakes region and a way of life.
Left abandoned “waiting for a getaway car that never came” in the record’s arena-rock-by-way-of-Silver Apples closer “Ruins,” we’re left to think that maybe we ought to have dreamt bigger and fought the urge to disengage. A suggestion that Aloha has taken to heart for its biggest, brightest record to date.
1Building a Fire (2:11)
2Moonless March (4:34)
5Everything Goes My Way (4:38)
6White Wind (4:35)
7Cold Storage (3:37)
10I'm in Trouble (3:09)
...Acres is the best stuff they've ever done.
The Aloha trademark - Cale Park's fidgety jazz drums and loping vibe lines, Tony Cavallario's gentle yelp and moony lyrics - simply work together better than before, giving the album enough momentum, or creepy tension, to plow through the spots where its predecessors got mired.
If 2007's Light Works EP was Aloha showing restraint, Home Acres is their big rock record. Thunderous rhythms, bigger guitars, a more prominent role for the marimba - it's a tonal shift, but a welcome one.
...in an indie scene replete with breezy, polished guitar-pop - a description that definitely fits Aloha's sixth album, Home Acres - the band's persistent embrace of experimentation sets it apart.
...given the fact that none of Aloha's members even live in the same city (the album was written via a private band blog), Home Acres is surprisingly cohesive and, well, homey.
The best bits aspire to an Animal Collective-cum-R.E.M. dream-weave, well suited for watching sunlight roll across your bedroom wall.