Okkervill River: 'The Stage Names'

'This six-piece band play the soundtrack to fifty quid man’s life'

With The Hold Steady’s bleeding heart Americana winning over UK audiences with its sheer triumphant will, it seems fitting that a band like Okkervill River have launched a bid for the big time as well.With a sound that ticks all the Classic Rock boxes (Motown parodies, Boss-inspired narratives and Pitchfork sonics recalling the likes of the Walkmen and Spoon), this six-piece band play the soundtrack to fifty quid man’s life. Yes, it’s solid rock but what they might lack in glamour (no back up dancers here, dude), they make up for in sheer sincerity. From the jukebox selection-referencing ‘Plus Ones’ to the forlorn mini drama ‘A Girl In Port’, frontman Will Sheff sounds like Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon – but in a good way. His bird-like fragility beautifully infuses these disaster portraits with a power well beyond their four-minute stay.

Priya Elan
7 / 10

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