Idaho Year After Year (Caroline Records) - CD

First off, Idaho is more of a collaboration between two musicians than a band. Jeff Martin, guitar, vocals and John Berry, guitar, drums have combined their respective talents to produce The Palms EP and now their first full-length release. Year After Year. Jeff Martin has described their music as a modern blues. I suppose that’s as good as any other way to describe their music. It does have a dirge-like quality. Martin’s lilting, distraught vocal delivery and Berry’s layered, melodic guitar work weave a simple, sometimes beautiful web of sound. If you are a fan of the Catherine Wheel, Codeine or the Red House Painters, you might think about purchasing a bus ticket to Idaho, or maybe finding a good psychotherapist you can pay on a sliding scale. Most of the tracks on Year After Year have a real linear feel to them, meaning there’s not much variation from beginning to end. “God’s Green Earth” and “One Sunday” are standouts. Idaho sounds at its best when Jeff Martin extends his vocals, or when John Berry ups the rhythm tempo a notch or two. My advice: If you need a mental health vacation — visit Idaho.

Scott Cymbala