The album captures an emotion and chord that not all music can tap into. The opening chords and echoey feel of "Prologue" lay ground for a nostalgic, transcendent feeling. From Prologue, the band doesn't necessarily maintain that same appeal, but the band shows some bluesy-rock chops on "The Boxer's Daughter" which had me wanting to stomp my feet and dance, especially before the vocals dropped. They keep the bluesy grind going through their chorus (the harmonica helps) and deliver what ultimately is my favorite of the record. The vocals, harmonica and guitar play all combine for a unique, and not often L.A. native sound.
The band comes next with "Lefty Goes Soft" and "Lefty's Lament" which both slow the roll a little bit, aiming for a more melodic driven song. I will admit - I like their gritty stuff better - but their slow melody driven stuff is good nonetheless. It would be good background music in an emotional scene in a movie. Like the opening track - it has a nostalgic quality that some bands cannot produce no matter how hard they might try....
"Black and Blue" and "The Fight" left me wanting more - probably my least favorite cuts of the album. They didn't have the nostalgic feel of the previously mentioned songs, nor did they have much drive behind them. They were both sort of slow, meandering and never really came together in a way that I enjoyed.
The group continues forging a path into territory that I'm not thinking is their best with "Understand We Have No Understanding." While I was not a huge fan - it was an improvement over the previous two tracks and showcased the bands diversity of sounds and talent. UWHNU exhibits the groups clear Smashing Pumpkins influences, the vocalist just sounds like Billy Corgan and illustrates that the group is definitely from today and not from some time in the past.
Although the band doesn't really capitalize or wrestle the music all the way into the nostalgic direction - the opening track and ending track show that they are onto something in that department.
All in all - I liked the album and would recommend it for people who don't have to dance to the music they listen to. I'm not rocking it in my car on a regular basis...but I am also more of an uptempo guy. The album has a nice ebb and flow, it grows on you as a listener and it is overall pleasing. For those LA indie-shoegazers who love the melancholy rock - I can understand how Divisadero would be the perfect fit.