Okkervil River – Black Sheep Boy
Okkervil River: Will Sheff (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, Wurlitzer organ); Jonathan Meiburg (vocals, electric guitar, keyboards); Zachary Thomas (vocals, mandolin, bass instrument); Travis Nelsen (vocals, drums, tambourine); Howard Draper (lap steel guitar, mandolin, pump organ, synthesizer, bass instrument); Seth Warren (vibraphone, drums, shaker, electronics).
One of the most acclaimed under-the-radar indie-rock albums of 2005, BLACK SHEEP BOY introduced the Austin, Texas-based ensemble Okkervil River to a considerably wider audience. Mixing a melancholy mood with alt-rock guitar heft and emo-like vocal drama, the band, led by frontman Will Sheff, often sounds like Neil Young & Crazy Horse for the Myspace set, as best revealed on "For Real," which hits a compelling feedback-laden crescendo. Sheff and company are also capable of subtler moments (see the beautiful Tim Hardin-penned title track), a point hit home by the baleful "Missing Children," which is included, along with other songs from BLACK SHEEP BOY.