by Jamie Kiffel
Somewhere between the wind on age-worn clapboard paint and a warm breath from a jaded co-ed lies this disc. Calling itself “fuzz-folk,” Rural Electric uses megaphone-style distortion, minor-key harmonies, and sans-serif fonts to evoke a wistful place where we lean up against our memories and indulge the scars of our losses. There is beauty in sadness, Andy Vietze and Alan Gibson seem to say, and they show it admirably. Rather than mooning over cellos and purple-lipped girls, they strum guitars with the longing, permanent tone of a life-weathered depression, blue-gray toned, recognizable and even. The track “The Nicest House on the Block (Is the Funeral Home)” manages to bob above ridiculous lugubriousness, a respectable paradigm for the album. Gentle, unpretentious and sometimes catchy, this is half-sweet tone in which to see the soul, its hurts, and quiet realizations.