Spare time, a spare room, and spared smokes; like a cool-handed stage direction in a Sam Shepard play; like a grit-paced mood-swing in a Larry Brown novel, these are the elements to a truly American alchemy. These are also the ingredients that gave rise to a fresh blend of alt-country, indie rock and folk blues: The Additives, a band from Bridgeport, Chicago; with an uncanny ability to create visual narratives out of the alienation and the outsider braininess that are the makeup of today's Americana tradition.
Hearing The Additives for the first time, one gets the notion that the Big Song through which American music ventures has become more interesting, and a shit-load cooler.
The Additives' second release, Should It End, plays out as all great sophomore efforts should: not only is it a significant step up in production quality from the home recordings of Back In Bridgeport, but it is also a solid indication of a songwriter and band melding into a singular voice, one of musical adventure and lyrical penetration; a voice in the midst of absorbing the human condition with eyes wise to our foolish hearts. This time around, instead of recording in the spare room of Joe and Sheila's apartment, they recruited the services of Oscar Salinas and Mike Czaszwicz to capture the band's expanding journey.
The Additives hunkered down at the Cro's Nest studios for five straight days of recording in September of 2008, where unseasonably high temperatures and an AC unit on the fritz kept the studio temperatures hovering in the mid 90's. Knowing this, the title cut sets an interesting tone you can almost feel the opening of the players' pores, and you're soon made to wonder whether it's the hot air that's causing those bodies to try and cool, or whether itï¿½s the only other cause for a human dripping sweat: nerve stimulation.
From there the mood swaggers into the smirked notes of "Sad & Wonderful"deepens in empathy through the contemplative bridges of "Lookin' Out," taunts mischievously via the ominous shakery of "Kind of Girl" with each song amongst these playing touchstone for a songwriting whose horizons are being spread directly inside the nucleus of authenticity.
Should It End invites the music fan and music critic alike to search into that exalted mystery of how music and words move us. The Additives have created an experience that is sure to leave the listener's soul gratified and his or her judgment singing.
With the release of Should It End one gets the notion that The Additives are positioning to become a true American influence.