Farewell to Green Mountain by Cedar Teeth — a Review

Portland has a plethora of amazing local music these days and as we gear up for the music festival season, fresh on the heels of a glorious memorial weekend full of sunshine, barbeques, and tune-infused campfires, PDX Magazine received what can only be described as an omen. Well… actually it was an email request for an album review from none other than Cedar Teeth.

For those of you in the know this has been a greatly anticipated second arrival from the Portland natives who have been gaining national attention as they continue to tour with the likes of The Fruitions and Hillstomp…among others. For those of you yet unaware of the hypnotically folk-infused bluegrass sound of Cedar Teeth, this is the EP you’re going to want to introduce yourself to.

This five-person mega-ensemble of Hill-Billy-Beethovens take the stage and studio with a sound that can only be compared to the invigorating aroma of old growth ferns lying decadently near a crackling creek of crystal clear water that’s only found in the dense foothills of the Mt. Hood National forest, also known as Cedar Teeth’s backyard.

“Farewell to Green Mountain” is an evolutionary journey of Cedar Teeth utilizing complex song structures mixed with traditional backcountry harmony and a diversely influenced melody. A truly unique experience with lyrics that bring forth a mix of angst and frustration, we all can identify with, and hypnotic revelations of temperance and understanding we can all use.

From the humble outlaw beginnings of the first track, “Cancer” – a genuine reflection to the epidemic of our culture – that vibrantly transforms into a celebration of invigorating intensity; to the brackish contradiction of “Echos Grounding” which has a fluid and tempered conception, followed immediately by a Flogging Molly styled pre-ejaculated crescendo, leading to a stretched series of musical affirmations that make you feel triumphant yet strangely well adjusted… each track brings with it a starving sapling of bluegrass influence mixed with a masterfully produced grasp of modern  American folk-rock tapestry that separates this album from any other.   

Simply stated… Cedar Teeth is redefining Bluegrass/Americana/Folk-Rock/Mumford (over-done) and Sons sounds with this exceptional breakthrough album. They have successfully created a symphonic separation from the traditional into an uncharted, multi-dimensional, and very much needed experimental realm; I affectionately call “Blue-Rock.”   

See Cedar Teeth at their album release show at Mississippi Studios June 9th, 8:00pm. $12. King Black Acid and Daydream Machine also perform.

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