Review: Zach Russack – Self-titled

Artist: Zach Russack
Album: Self-titled
Released: 2016
Genre: Folk/Alternative

As Hackettstown, New Jersey native Zach Russack heads out on the Southern Exposure Tour with Alex Mery & The Townsmen, he will do so in support of a full-length record influenced by the tender instrumentals of The Lumineers, as well as a vocal tone and graceful lyricism akin to Ben Gibbard.

The two major influences at play to our ears balance each other nicely on Russack’s self-titled effort, while dabbling tastefully into different shades of rock. “The Firing Line” has true single potential with its rich, ambient sound and pounding drums, polished with an undertone of country western flair. “Mr. McKluske” is a sleepier, swaying ballad that boasts an impressive acoustic guitar solo, while the dynamic shifts of “80 Proof” and “Maple Ave.” mix Russack’s gentle folk tendencies with big-sounding moments.

There’s a bit of conceptualism at play here, too, as evidenced by delicate album opener, “Halloween of ’94,” and its dramatic re-imagining – the aptly titled “Reprise” – at the end of the album.

Track listing:
Halloween
Just Because
The Firing Line
Mr. McKluske
80 Proof
Green Lake
Pots
Maple Ave.
Untitled
Reprise

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