One of the strangest things, to me, pop culturally, is how Liv Tyler could have possibly been conceived from Steven Tyler. Dude’s an ugly man, for certain. Let’s pause for a second and consider the possible scenarios here. First, maybe Liv got the recessive genetic traits, long dormant in the Tyler line. Perhaps a secondary hypothetical might discuss the toll drugs and excess have taken on the Aerosmith front man, and this plays into the whole mix. In any case, Liv Tyler, to me, has always embodied a kind of graceful poise; she’s a pearl and her father is the brine-beaten shell. I suppose it makes sense somewhat. At age nine, she found out she was rock royalty. She now flies in helicopters to movie shoots; she’s never had to worry a day in her life. Soft skin, gorgeous smile. She’s never had to mow the yard, clean a bathroom, or more aptly, live in squalor with we lesser folk.
All this to lead into the latest Roadside Graves track that showed up on Stereogum this morning. The prolific New Jersey act is delivering their Americana hybrid of folk, guitar stomp, and barstool anthem yet again on 3/16 through Aquarium Drunkard’s amazing spinoff label, Autumn Tone. You Won’t Be Happy With Me is a six-song collection that we’re eager to put our ears to as soon as possible. Last year’s stellar LP, My Son’s Home is near and dear to me at all times. This newest track, “Liv Tyler” is a 7 1/2 minute ass-shaking saloon romp with enough punch and vibe to send me to the repeat button six times before settling in to write this post. Piano arpeggios sprinkle the background while John Gleason raspily delivers emotionally epic vocals. A jumpy breakdown about midway through increases tempo and the pianos rise upward out of the background, paired with a bluesy and frenetic guitar solo. Stereogum mentions that the six songs o the newest effort a touch darker, exploring more spacious areas. If this track is any indication, we love where Roadside Graves is moving. When my favorite folky rock band can palm mute their way to anthemic highs, I can get behind it.
As far as Liv Tyler, well, I smirk when I hear the lyrics. I don’t know, who’s baby you are is repeated early on in the song. Obviously somebody’s on the same page as me.