A Night in the Box “Write A Letter” Review
Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: Album Reviews, Music, Twin Cities.
Having singer Clayton Hagen previously decried a savior in sake of his hate on “The Hustle” (from The Hustle, The Prayer, The Thief) there is a tremendous weight on A Night in the Box to follow up its debut album with something as equally thoughtful and compelling. With Write a Letter the band has done just what a fan might have hoped they would, A Night in the Box has written an album as true to its busker-rich history as to its previously recorded forward reaching traditionals.
A few tracks into the album, “Fiddle Foot Jones” debuts itself as a concisely written song, reaching eerily towards something far older than any of the band’s members themselves. But to judge anyone, anywhere, simply by their youth (no matter how relative it may be) is a far cry from treating that individual fairly. In this case A Night in the Box could easily double for a band twice its age and with countless times more experience. Playing this past January’s Best New Bands showcase at First Avenue might be proof enough of the band’s cohesiveness as the performance was the highlight of the night for many (bold statement, maybe…but it was certainly the highlight for myself).
Introducing a gypsy homage with “The Legend of Kevin Mitch” and a slow snare-heavy waltz on the album’s first untitled track A Night in the Box continues to justify faith in the belief that the band is just starting to find its voice and that the best is possibly yet to come. That being said, the key to the album is the alarmingly familiar-yet-unique sound created by Kaitlyn Spencer and her violin combined with Travis Hetman and his use of the slide on his guitar. Evidence of this sound can be found throughout, including “Broken-Down Radiator Romance Blues” and “Rich Man’s Table,” both proving an internal chemistry that many bands can only dream of. All that being said, again, the best may still be yet to come and with a band this talented such an idea is a very welcomed thought.