Anti-folk has been used to describe this East coast wonder known as Steve Shiffman & The Land of No. Indeed the elements of modern anti-folk are present in this melodic record, however it can be more clearly stated by considering Steve Shiffman as a bridging sound from the singer/songwriter/folk movement that is taking over all of our ears daily. There are trace elements of country-laced folk music as well as a strong atmosphere of melodic rock. Steve Shiffman & The Land of No is out to prove that you can take the rock out of country but you can’t take the country out of rock.
The obvious taste of New York Art-Rock is sweet in this album and bringing some levity to the album there are plenty of catchy hooks, even one that is reminiscent of OK Go’s, “Here it Goes Again.” Steve Shiffman has captured elements of rock past and present to present a calming and compelling recording that even the most dusty of cow-folk could appreciate in due time. It also doesn’t hurt that there are several tracks that contain some twangy riffs of their own.
Solemn messages are laced in and out of Steve’s writing and there is hardly a moment while listening to this album that doesn’t entice the ear. There are soft recollections of lost loves, cynical shots at recent loves, and clever thoughts about modern love. With the delivery of what sounds like a young Lou Reed these catchy lyrics are surprisingly memorable and entertaining to repeat after only a few listens.
So before jumping off your horse and on to the treadmill entertain Steve Shiffman & the Land of No. Pretty soon you may find yourself not filling your beer mug with salty tears but singing and crying in to a dry Martini.