Album Review:Everything Touches Everything – These United States

by Jack Diablo

Label: United Interests
Release Date: September 1, 2009
These United States are keeping the momentum going with the release of their latest album, Everything Touches Everything, the third full length in just a year and a half from the Lexington, KY / Washington, DC band. With it, they’ve maintained their signature folkiness, but amped up the rock compared to previous releases.
Everything Touches Everything opens with a strong rock and roll start that blends the Americana of Tom Petty with the neo-garage of the Strokes. The song in question, ‘I Want You To Keep Everything,’ makes the band’s direction clear. Yes, this will be folky and tinged with country, but is a rock album at it’s core, make no mistake about it. After making this assertion the band pulls out the pedal steel and piano on ‘Will It Ever,’ which leans closer to the country side. From there it goes right back to rock for the title track. All told, it’s a very similar style of rock n’ roll as the Ryan Adams album of the same name but instead of a concept album (of sorts), it indicates the direction These United States’ seem to be headed.
Although “indie-folk” or “roots revival” are ample descriptors for the bulk of the material on this album, a few exceptions. ‘Conquest & Consequence.’ for example, has just the slightest hint of T. Rex of all things, and ‘Good Bones’ has a Conor Oberst quality to it. There’s even a tinge of Western-surf present on ‘Night & the Revolution.’
I could definitely envision this band playing Cafe Eleven sometime in the future. This album is the perfect cup of tea for fans of Dr. Dog, Elvis Perkins, the Avett Brothers and any of the many Americana bands that have mastered the equation for balancing folk and roots music with rock and roll. When you think about it, it makes the name this band chose for themselves all the more appropriate.