With a heavy focus on lyrics and melody, NJ-based indie/folk group River City Extension’s debut features promising songs that mercifully avoid most clichéd indie rock themes.
Getting his start in coffee houses (the way all respectable singer-songwriters do), vocalist/guitarist, Joseph Michelini decided his solo performances could do with some bolstering. In 2008 River City Extension expanded to a full, eight-piece band including cello, trumpet and piano. The resulting arrangements are rife with western flavor; horns performing most of the melodies alongside the vocals and simple drum beats keeping time with acoustic guitars.
Michelini’s voice is brusque and his impassioned singing brings an extra level of attitude to each song. The album is cheeky while, at the same time, it deals with serious subjects like fear of getting older, searching for God and life’s hardships. River City Extension’s songs are mature and introspective with Michelini often mocking his own emotions in the lyrics.
This is a strong debut from a well-developed group led by a strong and dynamic songwriter. Once The Unmistakable Man reaches the nation’s indie circles it will only be a short time till they garner even greater success.