With 'What Comes After the Blues,' we enter a new era with Jason Molina. After seven full-length studio albums in as many years – each recorded using a revolving cast of players under the name Songs: Ohia – Molina has retired the name as well as his wayward days and settled in with a new, consistent cast of players. He has named this group Magnolia Electric Co., after his final Songs: Ohia album. Why now? Surely moving to Southern Indiana and finding a once-in-a-career band consisting of Pete Schreiner, Jason Groth, Mark Rice and Mike Kapinus had something to do with it.
Sonically, this isn’t a huge departure from where Songs: Ohia was headed these past few years. The steel howls hauntedly, the guitars soar and crunch with verve, and the songs resonate with timelessness. Steve Albini’s live-in-a-room, captured-as-it-was-played engineering technique is still a crucial player. Where we find the marked difference is in their confidence, as afforded by experience and trust in one another. These guys are talented, hardworking, and actually enjoy playing with one another – and you can hear it in their songs. As on the limited edition live album Trials & Errors, Magnolia Electric Co. know exactly what they are shooting for and hit it dead center with every attempt. This is not indie rock anymore. Magnolia Electric Co. have made a no-bullshit album that is both rocking and full of life…a fist-pumper that manages to hit great depths of beauty.