Did you ever wish that your favorite band would try dabbling in something different, maybe change it up every once in a while — perhaps add a little bit of prog or some alt-country? Maybe you should consider making Blitzen Trapper your new favorite band. The Portland natives' latest record, 2007's Wild Mountain Nation, is very much what the title suggests, a freewheeling sonic escapade full of backwoods hoedown exuberance that hopscotches across the modern musical landscape. Members of the six-piece are no novices at the genre-bending game, but they've become more adept, comfortable and daring than on their earlier, self-released efforts, 2004's Field Rexx and 2003's eponymous debut. Those saw the band wading in calmer waters, generally starting from a comfortably earnest country-rock perspective and skipping stones in the general direction of experimentation. Now those ripples have grown and overlap beautifully, as each song stands up as a finished piece and bleeds effortlessly into the next, despite their frequently wild differences. And these are no mere genre workouts for their own sake. Blitzen Trapper is all of these things, which is what makes them singularly Blitzen Trapper.
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