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Arbouretum Song of the Pearl

Classic rock singers might glorify the mythical open road, but Arbouretum frontman Dave Heumann rhapsodizes like a truly weathered, fatalistic traveler. His grand, English folk-inspired riffage—both languid, gloomy passages and aggressive, sludgy jams—has enough presence to fill a dusty, sun-baked highway landscape. Song of the Pearl, the first Arbouretum release without a shifting cast of sidemen, opens with “False Spring” and its airy sounds that stretch to the horizon. “Another Hiding Place,” a tale of escape, swaggers, with a driving backbeat that marches lockstep with the flashes of white paint running down the middle of the highway. Heumann’s old-school lyrics, filled with weathered characters, fate’s heavy hand, and epic storytelling, are perfectly suited for these gothic melodies.

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