Mallard Bill Soda – Fountain

By Charlie Englar

So many emotions jump out of the speakers with this album. At one moment it’s MGMT, at another it feels as though Crosby, Stills & Nash are in the room, and then all of sudden one could swear that a track from Neil Young’s Harvest Moon is playing.

The Fort Collins duo of Brooks Letchworth and Darin Grasmick are Mallard Bill Soda, and their new disc, Fountain, is a multitude of various components. Harmonization is mixed with acoustic strumming, melodic piano runs right alongside a serendipitous synthesizer and a drum machine plays nice with a tambourine.

In an age when bands like My Morning Jacket and Fleet Foxes have made a name for themselves by using “spacey-harmonization” as their modus operandi, Mallard Bill Soda and Fountain seem to be drawing from that mold.

“Lemondrop Lane” feels like it could be the theme song for the movie Juno. Sunny vocals mix with acoustic guitar accents, while a drum machine keeps the wheels in motion.

The Neil Young circa Harvest Moon-like number “I Been Drifting” is a solid display of vocal determination and instrumental intertwinement.

While it can be said for many bands, a young tandem such as Mallard Bill Soda shows great promise, but that promise isn’t necessarily fully translated to the overall layout of an album. Fountain has all the elements, and shows flashes of being a solid and uplifting disc. These gentlemen show great harmonizing and put together quite a few strong numbers on the disc. However, the pace and repetition do hold things back a bit.

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