More Rock Than Eagle Block

by Farmington Hill

Released 2016
Released 2016
"The collective resume of Farmington Hill reflects classic hardcore, bratty punk, alt country, and rock and roll. They’re hyper children of country and rock, with as much on-stage gusto as Husker Du or Jason and the Scorchers."
NOTES
"Right from first listen I was struck by the fact that this talented band is reminiscent of bands such as Uncle Tupelo and the Long Ryders, perhaps even Jason and the Scorchers! Not exactly bad bands to be compared to but if anything Farmington Hill have a slightly more dynamic and varied sound than the above and perhaps veer closer to rock than they do with a lovely natural edginess. On occasions I was even reminded of the Clash, maybe in respect of them having a strong punk edge but without actually being a punk band! If you want to slot them into a nice comfortable genre, forget it! There are so many influences and skills at play on this recording that includes alt country, rock and roll, cow punk, even a little heavy rock in its makeup, in some instances various generic strands being recognizable but most are blended into this rich all enveloping stew of powerful sounds. It would have been easy to categorize Farmington Hill as a 'guitars and drums' band but there is so much going on here with the powerful confident playing of all concerned on an album that includes some tempo variations but also a recording on which the dynamic pace never lets up.
The songs are all written by the band, whose members are Paul 'Bubba' Iudice on acoustic guitar and vocals, Erik Nordstrom plays electric guitar and vocals, Kelly Rogers, lap steel and vocals, Mary Hess on bass and vocals with Logan Miller handling drums and percussion. They are based in Durango, Colorado and were put together by long time collaborators Paul Iudice and Erik Nordstrom. It is often the case that bass and percussion are looked upon merely as a foundation for the songs and other players to display their skills but listen to this recording and you will hear as powerful a bass and drum sound as can be found in roots music and one that not only lays incredibly solid foundations but adds to the fullness of sound. To that you have to add Paul Iudice's excellent vocals that are as able to display warmth as they are a fiery passion, whilst Erik Nordstrom's command of the Telecaster has to be heard to be believed and just when you think a little extra colour would spice things up, in comes the sparingly used steel guitar of Kelly Rogers lap steel.
The reason the band is so good and stands out from the pack is that there appears to be nothing contrived stylistically. The atmosphere they create is one of a band of friends who got together to play the music they love and they seem to work incredibly well together with the beautifully blended harmonies and plenty of attack and dynamism in the arrangements. The lead and harmony vocals are always excellent, the arrangements perfect for purpose and the playing full of fire and passion. And yet, even on the songs that rock powerfully there are some memorable melodies that stay with the listener long after the albums end. I've often criticized albums for having a too full, dense sound but on this recording a certain density is absolutely essential to enhance the power, something the band gets just right.
Things get underway with speedy fiery guitars on Things are gonna go my way, an excellent rocker that would probably fit best under the heading 'cow punk.' The lead vocal is strong, the harmonies excellent and the attack is full of drive and passion. Rats is performed at a slightly slower tempo but is just as dynamic as everything else on this tremendous album of powerful sounds with the fiery vocals and lead guitar sound alongside the thudding percussion and driving bass giving them an incredibly full sound. That is followed by Crazy Mary a song that has a slashing, crashing guitar sound with the thudding bass and percussion driving excellent lead and harmony vocals at just below mid tempo. The full sound belies the fact that there are only five people in the band on this paean to Crazy Mary. Along with everything else what lifts them above their peers is the sheer dynamic attack on this and every other song on an album that is on almost constant play in my house! Break is a little slower than its predecessors with a much cleaner guitar sound, courtesy of the steel guitar, with another tremendous atmospheric lead vocal and harmonies with the ubiquitous dynamism of the bass and percussion underpinning everything. On first listen to She wears her makeup to bed I was reminded of the Clash's Should I stay or should I go but the differences outweigh the similarities, although that comparison still nags at me on yet another excellent song. Final mention goes to The finish line, with telecaster to the fore and a less full sound on another tremendous song that has a lovely chugging feel and a tremendous melody to set alongside the huge quality of the rest of the songs.
There may be many bands that play music in a similar vein to Farmington Hill but they are most certainly one of the best around, as evidenced by not only this tremendous recording but also by their debut 'Bridge to nowhere.' To balance the praise i'm trying to find a reason for them not to succeed. Don't hold your breath whilst you wait; I could be some time!"
Mike Morrison, American Roots UK

"Two songs into the latest record from Farmington Hill and you’ll catch onto a lyrical theme of defiance, stubbornness and acceptance of your own flaws with a reluctance to change. It’s the perfect attitude for the characters in the songs on this rock record, and the perfect attitude for songs from this band, a band that boldly boasts a punk-rock sneer and sound while exploring outlaw-country narratives. It’s a brash, catchy and aggressive record: slick yet raw, musically- and lyrically-intelligent as it bleeds the energy of punk along with the rowdiness of alternative country...
The songs come from frontmen Paul Iudice and Erik Nordstrom, veterans of the Durango rock scene whose other and past bands have created classic hardcore punk, garage rock and country via an exploration of weird and wonderful, dark and depressing tales of life."
Bryant Liggett, KDUR station manager

"If you’re a fan of their debut disc, 2012’s “Bridge to Nowhere,” then hold on tight for first listen. “Eagle Block” truly features more rock than its predecessor. The three-guitar assault from Erik Nordstrom (electric), Bubba Iudice (acoustic) and Kelly Rogers (lap steel) drives the quintet with as much force as a 426 Hemi powering a ’69 Charger up the band’s curvy, steep namesake."
Chris Aaland, The Durango Telegraph

"Alt Country sings a sweet sound in Durango, Colorado in the music of Farmington Hill. Their recent release, More Rock than Eagle Block, opens its doors and floors the engine as Farmington Hill swear “Things Are Gonna Go My Way”. The album crowns “Miss America” with guitar crackle as “Thinkin’ Drinkin’” raises a glass for staying up all night, and an electric fuzz cape is laid on audio shoulders for “Ode to the King”. Farmington Hill pen the plights and the passions of the blue-collar workers of the world, forcing their way through the maze of life with power chords in “Rats”, looking for an exit from love with “Break”, marking time in a 24/7 beat for beauty in “She Wears Makeup to Bed”, and take a political aim with “I Egged the President”."
Danny McCloskey, The Alternate Root

"Actually, I can be very brief about the second of this quintet from Durango, Colorado: Three years ago I had in a very enthusiastic manner stabbing the praises of their debut, which I then had repeatedly about "fun". For the listener that record was a celebration and the creators must have been no less. With these findings in mind, I moved into this new CD loader and, barely three minutes away, I could hear it again sits mustache.
Even more than the debut, the emphasis this time on "rock": whether it comes out of the garage, from the punk out of the country or the roots ... on this record is already rock that stores the clock as it should the. The song themes remain the same: you work hard and on Saturday you drink hard. You are your stubborn self in your relationships, your work you the fuck up for a boss, but you deep inside you're convinced that this will not destroy you, and when it's all a bit unlucky, go some distance by car drive.
Some of the song titles speak for themselves: first opener "Things are Gonna Go My Way", but also "Thinkin 'Drinkin'," "Break" ... these are just a few examples, but they make it clear where the band Farmington Hill is taught: this is work people music. Melodies are indeed beautiful, but it's the way of singing and coloring of the songs, this record so irresistible maakt.Als Uncle Tupelo had survived, they had today probably sounded like Farmington Hill. The closest reference point, but I think at times Jason & The Scorers: same attitude, the same use of ripping fuzz guitars, the same themes in the songs. At times you will be overwhelmed with music boxes, is a good, straightforward rock album like this a real relief and yours is already hopelessly lost.
At the time of the recording of this album, the occupation was the same as in the first record, but recently seems to have replaced the rhythm section resigned. I hope that it has no adverse effect on the next album, because I feel sounds Farmington Hill on this delicious, uncomplicated CD as it should. This is the band that you want to see play on a Saturday night at your local pub, so you can get totally free along with them and then on Sundays, when the cat is a little hidden, at home you can set the CD, for napret."
Dani Heyvaert, Rootstime (Belgium)

"it rocks...very very good country rock with a good spirit"
Mike Penard, ISA Radio, France

"...a great mix of rock, barroom swagger and just the right amount of twang... mixes old-school alt-country (whatever that is!), traditional roots and just a hint of modern indie-rock. I really like the overall mix of the electric, acoustic and pedal-steel sounds."
Brian Bourgoin, Twisted Roots Radio Show, WCNI Music Director

"I’ve been honored to call these guys friends since before they took the name of a Durango intersection, and its been fun to watch the band evolve whether it be at practices or sets around town.
The collective resume of Farmington Hill reflects classic hardcore, bratty punk, alt country, and rock and roll. They’re hyper children of country and rock, with as much on-stage gusto as Husker Du or Jason and the Scorchers.
Cow punk, roots-rock, alternative country all hit the bullseye. A strong pour of those styles into the mixer and the resulting cocktail is the American rock ‘n’ roll band that is Farmington Hill."
Bryant Liggett, KDUR Station Manager