Frontier Ruckus – Eternity of Dimming
Quite Scientific, 2013
Frontier Ruckus’ third long player is definitely long. Eternity of Dimming spreads twenty songs over two discs and clocks in at the running time of a feature length film. In this hour and twenty minutes front man Matthew Milia spins yarns of personal history with the sort of detail that cuts straight through you if you grew up in 1900s suburbia. Home depot parking lots, strip malls, birthday parties, bowling alleys, first loves, first surgeries, the weird nether regions of Kohls and JC Penny, etc. It is exhausting. It is indulgent. It is my favorite album of the year so far. Milia’s lyrics are a borderline stream-of-conscious flow of memories filtered through the band’s modern Americana that shows flashes of bluegrass when the banjo comes out and the grandeur of Neutral Milk Hotel when the horns and singing saw show up. The whole is a heart-wrenching and poetic batch of songs of youth filtered through adulthood. Nostalgia for a simpler time. Not for an older, simpler time when men were men or whatever, but of high school sleepovers, 90s prom dates, and heat lamp buffets. I feel like if you grew up in suburbia your experiences are rendered as a sort of non-factor because so many people have it so much harder. Or maybe that’s imagined, or maybe it just isn’t a thing because growing up in a suburban home isn’t terribly interesting. Matthew Milia sort of validates this experience and filtering it through the lens of roots music is a brilliant way of telling very American stories with very American music.