Album review: J Roddy Walston and the Business, “Destroyers of the Soft Life”

by Jon E. Lynch

J Roddy Walston and the Business, “Destroyers of the Soft Life”Available: Friday, Sept. 29, via ATO Records as a digital download in both FLAC and MP3 formats, on compact disc, and a first run on White vinyl LP. There are pre-order bundles available direct from the label that include the album on any format of your choosing, an enamel pin, and a limited-edition T-shirt.

The Richmond, Virginia-based band consisting of J. Roddy Walston (lead vocals, piano, guitar) and the current lineup of The Business, Billy Gordon (lead guitar, vocals), Logan Davis (bass guitar, vocals) and Steve Colmus (drums), have released a straightforward album of full-throttle yet restrained Southern-soaked rock ’n’ roll. The record was recorded in their hand-gutted and built-from-scratch studio (in a former WWII bomb shelter in Richmond) by famed Northwest-based producer Phil Ek (Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, The Shins). There is a drawl, warmth, and comfort to the songs that can only come from taking time to hone and feel out a new space. Not just the physical space, but the head space that comes with grander life changes and a band fully gelled and cohesive. There seems to be a maturity, both lyrically and sonically, with songs exploring themes of interpersonal relationships and what would normally be the banality of day-to-day life. Here, the daily ritual is transposed into songs that I’d bet are even more compelling in a live setting.

Recommended for fans of anthemic Americana-tinged rock ’n’ roll in the thread of early My Morning Jacket, Dawes, Bruce Springsteen, Deer Tick, or Lucero.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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