Destroyers of the Soft Life

Destroyers of the Soft Life

by J. Roddy Walston and the Business J. Roddy Walston and the Business


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Following several years of hard touring for their 2013 breakout album Essential Tremors, Richmond, Virginia rock quartet J. Roddy Walston & the Business took a breather, investing their energies into building a new studio space before settling in to write their fourth record. Walston's group has been around in some form or another since 2002, plying the singer/songwriter's distinctive mix of energized Southern and classic rock and hooky power pop to North American audiences. After a stint on Vagrant, they signed with ATO Records and connected squarely with Tremors, delivering a set of finely crafted songs that successfully bottled the freewheeling electricity of their fiery live shows. If the first two tracks on their follow-up effort are any indication, those years spent road-dogging have only deepened the group's inner musical language. Destroyers of the Soft Life comes roaring out of the gate with the massive and instantly hummable "You Know Me Better," followed closely by its swaggering cousin "Blade of Truth." The top-loading of the LP's two best tracks serves to hook listeners and carry them through its remaining dips and peaks. Co-produced with Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses), much of the band's sizzling energy runs throughout the rest of the set from rockers like "Numbers" to more contemplative fare like the slow-building "I Called You." More so than on the wily Tremors, Walston takes a more direct, pop-oriented approach with his songwriting, going big on melody and playing to the back of the room with cavernous drum sounds and big, muscular riffs. For the most part it works, though some of the material doesn't quite hold up to its anthemic delivery. Still, Destroyers is a solid effort with plenty of standouts worth repeating.

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Product Details

Release Date: 09/29/2017
Label: Ato Records
UPC: 0880882306120
catalogNumber: 230612
Rank: 166209


  1. You Know Me Better
  2. Blade of Truth
  3. Numbers
  4. Ways and Means
  5. Heart Is Free
  6. I Called You
  7. The Wanting
  8. Bad Habits
  9. Bleed Out
  10. Burn Black

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