I must admit to being a little dismayed about the relative lack of awareness there seems to be about Arbor Labor Union and their excellent new LP, I Hear You, in Atlanta. Maybe it was the name change from Pinecones to their current moniker, or maybe it’s the way their signing to Sub Pop seemed to happen so quickly and with little fanfare. But lately, I’ve been bringing their name up quite a bit in conversation about local music and, for the most part, I’ve been met with shrugs and unknowing stares.
On the bright side, considering the quality of the music and the fact that it’s being supported by one of the few remaining indie giants, I expect awareness and appreciation to increase significantly over the coming months. And if you’re a listener who’s new to the group’s inspired take on ’90s-indebted underground sounds and psychedelic desert rock, there might not be a better place to start than with their new video for mid-album track “Volume Peaks.” It’s an eight-minute blast of simmering guitar-fueled tension and propulsion that manages to invoke a litany of rock standard-bearers and fringe acts alike — everyone from Queens of the Stone Age and Pearl Jam, to Lungfish and Shiner — without sounding quite like any of them.
Visually, the band continues their penchant for excursive, dreamlike storytelling, the roots of which — both literally and figuratively — can be drawn to their uncanny bio. It’s a somewhat bizarre clip that plays out like a small gathering of nature cultists dancing and skipping around the shore, but the air of lighthearted frivolity keeps it from seeming too zany.