Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with confusion over the last two years? Do you suffer from constant “what the actual hell is going on?” or are you met with daily struggles to identify what makes up the world we live in, is it natural beauty or weaponized politics? If you answer yes to any of these, ask your doctor about The Districts today!
If your doctor doesn’t listen to The Districts, do them the favor of showing them the latest from the Philadelphia-based, now trio, Great American Painting.
Rob Grote (vocals/guitar), Pat Cassidy (guitar), Braden Lawrence (drums), and Connor Jacobus (former bassist) decided their fifth full-length record would culminate in a deep-dive of self-reflection and getting back to a “visceral rock-and-roll energy.” To put that to text is to over-simplify what was achieved in this record.
Massively consumable as an accessory to your day-to-day, but vividly captivating when you reflect on the lyrical content, Great American Painting becomes less of a confirmation bias and more of an accepting invite that shifts into a rational understanding of the world around us. The dichotomy laid out by The Districts lands skirting the edges of post-new wave and synth-pop, balanced with the sobering confrontation of the narrative. Grote asks “‘What is the great American painting? Is it police brutality, or is it this beautiful landscape?’ And the truth is it’s all of that.” “Long End” nestles into a Simple Minds-esc veil, yet “White Devil” brings the rock, and “Outlaw Love” sonically moves in and out of the shadows of its own making. The record explodes with a velocity of a rocket instead of a gradual build, but quickly reaches a cruising altitude that allows us to bear witness to the full breadth and width of the vibrant sounds and colors of Great American Painting. A soothing delivery against a backdrop of violence and division, The Districts bring a sense of understanding, if ever slightly, when all seems frayed and uncertain.
As it strides through varying influence, while retaining the core of The Districts, Great American Painting subtly becomes practically ideal without being overly idealistic. There will undoubtedly be many that find Great American Painting to be the roadmap that gets them through 2022 and beyond. For the rest, these nine tracks are a salve to help us, quite enjoyably, begin to understand there is beauty in the confusing.