Mark Roberts Band’s ‘Songs from the Goodland’

Album Spring-Loaded with Beachy Americana Tracks

Goleta’s own Mark Roberts Band is back in action with Songs from the Goodland, spring-loaded with beachy Americana tracks based on the everyman struggles of 12-hour shifts, loneliness, and rejuvenating love. It broaches working-class subjects found in country music, but without the genre’s signature vocal twang, and ventures into piano-driven blues on songs like the aptly named “Working Hard Blues.” On “Something in the Water,” they express their frustration with the complacency of the American public toward their own politicians’ pay “as long as they’re safe at home watching their TV.” Goodland’s most interesting moments come when the band members pair together, like in the simultaneous guitar parts in “2 Pooped 2 Pop” that imitate a horn section, overlaid with slide acoustic guitar and piano, or the guitar solos on “Destination Overload” that clash excitedly with the background instruments. The independence of Mark Roberts Band’s musicians only creates a more dynamic whole.

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