Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors are a four piece ensemble from Nashville, Tennessee, whose brand of light, acoustic rock comes infused with a country and western flare. Active since 2005, the band have churned out an impressive eight studios albums in less than a decade, making them true veterans of the music industry. And if that’s not enough, album number nine, Medicine, is due for release on January 26th.

Beginning with “American Beauty”, delicate acoustic instrumentation and soft, simple vocals characterise the band’s overall approach to their work on Medicine. “Tightrope” continues this acoustic vibe with a more upbeat rhythm. The music picks up as it unfolds alongside a pleasant melody, becoming louder and more energetic towards the end.

“Here We Go” remains easy on the ears while adopting a faster harmony and a more complex musical execution. The band’s penchant for country and western can really be felt here. “Shine Like Lightning” follows on with a larger sound. The music becomes more epic, combining with passionate vocals for a rousing auditory experience.

Things slow back down for “Avalanche”, a ballad like composition with a slower, cooler beat. “Heartbreak” arrives next with a hushed acoustic riff that teams up with contemplative vocals. It’s a rather reflective entry. The reserved technique endures into “You’ll Always Be My Girl,” a quiet, emotional piece, accompanied by expressive vocals and lyrics.

“Sisters Brothers” serves as a departure from the first seven tracks, with a fun and funky musical intro and melody. Its catchy, resonating tune allows it to stand apart and grab your attention. “The Last Thing We Do” is another airy number, beginning with optimistic piano keys that lead into quick and enthusiastic guitars and vocals.

“Ain’t Nobody Got It Easy” marks a return to a mellow, acoustic sound, coming with solemn vocals. This vibe certainly doesn’t persist into “I’ve Got You”, however. Instead we are met by a carefree, whistling intro that heralds the beginning of a relaxed and contented musical effort. Finally then, “When It’s All Said And Done” makes for a fitting bookend to “American Beauty”, recalling the latter’s acoustics and soft vocals. Although it does still manage to differentiate itself by building and becoming busier as it progresses.

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors have opted for an articulate style of music here, endowed with more than a few country and western mannerisms. Medicine is an album that slips neatly into the easy listening category of the rock genre, brandishing an affable and inoffensive sound that should appeal to a large audience.

Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at davecsimpson.wordpress.com, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at dave@puremzine.com