Joshua Powell & the Great Train Robbery has reinvented their sound on the new full-length album, Alyosha, with a funky psychedelic version of folk. The Indiana-based folk-rock band transformed their expansive sound from the rustic folk Americana feel on their previous release, Man Is Born For Trouble, into something uniquely artistic with a musical depth that is anything but typical.
Alyosha is a successful experimentation in so many aspects for Joshua Powell & the Great Train Robbery. From the fresh southern-style electric guitar riffs on the lead track, “Gun Fighter Ballad For The 21st Century,” to synth laden effects on “The Farmer And The Viper,” Alyosha is a free flowing renaissance for the band. While the overall sonic tone changed and has gotten weird, in a good way, the constants are still Powell’s angelic and ethereal voice and the ever poetic and story-driven lyrics.
There is a freedom to Alyosha that Joshua Powell & the Great Train Robbery have been able to discover through experimentation as their overall sound matured. The psychedelic folk group finally found that unique voice that everyone craves, but rarely attains. The beauty of this album is, while there is an explosion of creativity and change, the global feeling and essence is still Joshua Powell & the Great Train Robbery just with a lot more attitude.
Alyosha is the needed uppercut to the humdrum folk world. It is a wakeup call that screams there is so much more to the genre than a singer sitting on a stool with an acoustic guitar. Making fun, unique music that could change the musical landscape, this is what it means to be an independent artist and Joshua Powell & the Great Train Robbery is doing just that. Alyosha is proof.