The Rattlenecks are from Eleva-Strum, Wisconsin, USA, and they’re proud of it. And in turn the people of Eleva-Strum are proud of their Rattlenecks! It’s a close-knit community that has truly shaped the band, as people and as musicians. Their songs are like polaroids of life in a small Wisconsin town through the eyes of boys who wanted to get out and explore the world, did so, and returned as men who feel lucky and honored to be rooted in such a beautiful place.
The Rattlenecks' new album, Heart Lies (releasing June 4th 2017), brings an eclectic mix of songs to the listener. There is truly something for everyone. The title track boasts modern indie vibes with classic pop sensibilities; the lyrics are delivered via tight three-part harmony that hints at an interesting dissonance that never fully materializes. Sunday is a track that sounds as if The Byrds and Tom Petty got together for a sweet, one-time only collaboration. Foghorn Love Affair is a ballad with a classic Motown feel, it somehow manages to feel fresh and familiar at the same time. Behind The Vault features lush soundscapes, unique rhythms and a Prince-like vocal cadence. Double Barrel Belfries is a pop rock love letter written to a snow covered Eau Claire, WI. Lost is a beautifully performed acoustic number with pedal steel lines that seem to float like ghosts in the ether. Lovin’ You is a smile inducing, tongue in cheek, whimsical rocker. If We Don’t Jump is a toe tappin', sittin' around the campfire on a summer night with a beer in your hand kinda tune. And closing out the album is Feeling My Way Through The Dark - a barroom ballad drenched in despair yet it leaves the listener with a sense of hope and new beginnings.
On Heart Lies, as with their 2014 self-titled debut EP, the vocal harmonies from core members Gabe Koxlien, Jim Pullman and Todd Barneson are undeniable, strong and pure. There is a certain something that happens when three seasoned vocalists sing in full voice … the blend is stronger, the chord that their voices combine to create makes the little hairs on your arm stand up. On their new full length LP, Heart Lies, we find The Rattlenecks evolving. They are navigating new territories. First, the album features songs penned by not just Barneson, Pullman and song-writing partner Ryan James Miller; as was the case on their debut EP; but Ethan Schmidt and Gabe Koxlien have songwriting credits as well. The melodies are more advanced, they are memorable without being over overstated, the lyrics seem more mature and sure-footed. Sonically the album is lush and saturated with layer upon layer of ear candy. The band made a conscious effort to capture unique sounds this time around, from uncommon drum and rhythm parts, to the utilization of mic placement giving the tracks an ambient and roomy breath. The song structures here are adventurous with little surprises that reward and keep the listener on their toes.
Armed with a strong new album, multiple summer performance dates, and a good start on new material for the next album, The Rattlenecks know where they’re from and are excited about where the future will take them.