Artist: Cody & the Gateway Drugs
Album: Songs for the New Depression
Release Date: November 20, 2014
Buzz Factor: 3/5

Songs For the New Depression battles heavy topics of lost love, societal frustrations, and financial instability, all with an effortless cool. The band’s Wilco-like country vibes leave the listener feeling laid back and ready to tackle their own daily routines.

It must be something in the moving bass line or the melodic banjo in the background that allows the band to groove no matter what they are belting out. However, their lyrics are the meat and driving force of this LP.

Cody Shokolski and Katie Flynn belt out the struggles of an every day life and the consumerism that is behind it all. The album transitions into a natural span of human emotions – all in a reasonable approach. Shokolski goes from singing, “It’s been so long, I don’t know what lovin’ feels like” in “What Lucky Looks Like” to “I took some hits, that’s the least of it. Sure, it hurt me a bit, still I was fortified by it,” in “Pretty Damn Fine.” Instead of letting hardships devour him, Shokolski gets up and keeps on singing.

The textures and rifts are never dull. The use of accordions, banjos, and effects on guitars infinitely adds more energy to the tracks. They are subtle enough to not take away from the lyrics, rather enhance the atmosphere. Although, some tunes take more time then others to pick up. “Good and Bad Times” ascends slowly. Once the piano solo kicked in in the middle of the song I was more engaged while enjoying the vocal harmonies.

Songs For the New Depression embodies authentic classic rock and country elements with world problems of the 21st century. Each track holds its own unique aspect and groove – and its own reflection on society.

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