Reviewed by Eric Saeger
Though mostly a one-man operation run by a Julian Casablancas solo band associate, this project has a money trail leading to actor Tobey Maguire, who funded it up to the time it was picked up by a new record label from Pierre de Reeder, itself bankrolled in turn by de Reeder’s bass slot with LA child-star band Rilo Kiley. Although that’s enough LA incestuousness to make me puke in my mouth a little, Bloom does seem to want to make some nice southern Americana, with arpeggios and finger-picking wisping around his airy and alienated Thom Yorke tenor on opener ‘Til It’s Over’. Essentially it walks a tightrope over the two opposing sides of Rhett Miller’s last album, not too bar-rock-hard and not too google-eyed-stagnant (even if ‘Afterthought To War’ dawdles a bit before settling on a southern-gothic hook). The songwriting is impressive, reaching deeper levels than you’d associate with your everyday LA hack, this despite ‘Devil’s Island’, an eye-rollingly contrived major-chord strummer that found a soundtrack home on *The Roommate.