The first thing that jumps out at you is the stunning cover art of Generation Debt; taken from a George Jartos painting as the Bellingham, WA group featured a hometown artist on their album. The second thing that is noticeable is the running time of the tunes, these songs stick around for a while as there are no quick ditty’s on Acorn Project’s newest offering.
There is an ease and smoothness that accompanies this jamband and that can be traced directly back to the excellent keyboards and saxophone contributions to the sound. The group is comprised of talented musicians and when they dip into their solo instrumental sections it is reminiscent of Frank Zappa or RAQ flights of fancy without the showboating. “Melting” is a good example of this as is the excursion post lyrics in “Limits”. “Dose” is a classic jamband song with peaks and valleys clocking in at over 9 minutes while “Bank Robbery” attempts to be a roots-y frolic, but the group can’t help it and tosses in a mega tempo change. Lyrically there are songs of isolation and literally noise in “Noise” but a track like “Blueprint” seems to be rebelling against something, capitalism maybe? Either way it doesn’t work so well while the disk closer “Tom Selleck” is straight Yacht Rock if that’s your thing.
The singing and lyrics are certainly secondary though to the musicianship and group interplay on Generation Debt. For a band (and a genre for that matter) that sounds most comfortable in the live setting, this studio album is step in the right direction.