by Richard Schmid
Americana band As Ladders released their newest album Alt Fiction with a CD release party at Howlers on May 11th, 2018. Alt Fiction is a 6 song CD by the band and features all original music.
The night was kicked off by the band FolkFaces, who played a mix of jazz, blues, folk and bluegrass. The band hails from Buffalo, NY and uses a variety of instruments and styles to simply rock. Folkfaces also brought both a banjo, a saxophone, and yes, even a washboard.
Following Folkfaces was Pittsburgh’s own Bindley Hardware Co, who followed with their own style of Americana music. Bindley performed with their usual excellence and capabilities, even going so far as to break out a trusty accordion played by Dr. Greg Marchetti. Despite being rushed, Greg managed to make his transitions between instruments.
After Bindley Hardware Co. came As Ladders themselves. The band, headlined by singer Mike Berginc, played a mix of their new album and a few other songs, including acoustic versions of Kodachrome and Mr. Brightside. The band finished with Little Shadows from Alt Fiction.
Alt Fiction itself is very much folk music at its best, harkening back to simpler times and the 9 to 5 factory job that Americans long for, as opposed to today’s fast paced work. The second song on the album, Reliable Child, espouses this nostalgia that has taken ahold of us as a country. The refrain, “They just don’t make things like they used to, reliable, child” recalls how our manufacturing base in the US has eroded, and how it feels like the quality of our goods has eroded as well.
Overall, the album is technically well done and clocks in at just under 30 minutes. The vocals and instrumentals are well done, and the album is an enjoyable and relaxing listen. It’s available on Google Play, Spotify and Amazon. As someone who is normally more into punk and heavy rock, I can wholeheartedly endorse the album. Go out and give it a listen.