Album Review

Welcoming the Flood Rebukes the Stereotypes

Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes - Welcoming the Flood

Often in the effort to put artists into a convenient box -- be it folk, Americana, roots rock or what have you -- we overlook the subtleties and nuances that make them unique. So while it might be tempting to typecast Scott Wolfson and his band Other Heroes one way or another, under some kind of blanket umbrella, it serves no purpose other than to deny them credit for a varied and versatile approach. Having etched a solid reputation in their native New Jersey and made themselves a name as an indie folk/rock hybrid, they turn their sophomore set into a bold synthesis of several styles, none of which offers a blanket definition of their specific sound or substance. Opening track “Never Going Back Again” suggests the verve and savvy of Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers, but that notion is quickly dispelled by the brass-infused rhythm of “And the Band Plays On,” a study in choral harmonies that meld together in a joyous convergence. The same can be said of the collective chorus that drives “We Will All Die Together,” one that culminates with a massed theatrical-like conclusion. Wolfson also proves himself to be an accomplished balladeer, particularly on songs such as “Unloved Daughter,” “Johnny Gray” and “We Can’t Go Home Again,” where the arrangements are muted to emphasize some solitary accompaniment and Wolfson’s unassuming yet emotive vocals. Ultimately then, Wolfson’s greatest achievement is his ability to follow his whims wherever they take him, asserting himself without regard to any preconceived considerations. That gives us every reason to expect that Wolfson will not only defy the norm, but all expectations as well.