Adventus is the official coming out party for The Departed, an arrival, but the soft opening has been going on since Cross Canadian Ragweed disbanded a couple of years ago. The Departed played 200+ shows during that time, but they’re just now releasing a record of original material (last year’s This Is Indian Land covered Oklahoma songwriters). As the payoff for waiting, we get a fully realized album, a fine record of Texas/Red Dirt rock. In my view, it’s one of the best of 2012. While there are shades of Ragweed (or, better put, Canadian), this is not Cross Canadian Ragweed redux. This is something new, something better.Straight out of the gate, the band billed themselves as Cody Canada and The Departed, but the Adventus cover just says The Departed. While you still see references to Cody Canada and The Departed, there seems to be a subtle shift from a front man/backing band arrangement to something more like an ensemble. Canada is still the mover behind this group in many ways, but he’s not the only one. Roughly half the tracks on Adventus have Seth James as lead singer (former Ragweed bass player Jeremy Plato sings one and there is one instrumental). The band is rounded out by the excellent (and well-deployed) keyboards of Steve Littleton as well as the solid (and big) drums of Chris Doege. What to say about the sound of the record? For someone like me, who leans singer-songwriter, country, and acoustic, but comes from a rock background, it’s a welcome change, a bit of a palette cleanser. It’s certainly not a quiet, laid back record. Fans of heavier stuff are going to like its guitars and drums and voices. Canada’s songs remind us of Ragweed, though they’re a bit more complex, definitely more mature. He’s got that voice, the voice of Ragweed as we knew it (and loved it), and that unique way of phrasing (both as a singer and a songwriter), that is difficult to describe but unmistakable. Seth James’s offerings are a bit more straight ahead blues rock. He even goes gospel rock on a couple of tracks. His vocals and guitar work are clean and clear, very strong. The Seth James sound is the big change from Ragweed to The Departed.
mp3 320 kbps | 128 MB | UL