The 20-track, double album was designed to wrap up songwriter Matthew Milia and his band of Detroit brothers' Proustian obsessions with suburbia, to purge all the remaining keepsakes, like a neighborhood-wide tag-sale. Those familiar with Frontier Ruckus' ambling, surging old-time folk rock will recognize the sounds and images: the silverfishes, the pine-lined streets, the JCPenneys and Kohls, first communions, bike trails, funeral flowers, soccer games, TV carts, lunchmeat sandwiches, miniature golf courses, trailer parks and a granduncle's reel-to-reel deck. Milia still writes like an exceptionally word-drunk storyteller -- songs and stories bleed and flow one into the next -- but he nows shapes and guides the tumble of images with a "probable…unstoppable" confidence and joy.
All these stunning, concrete Milian archetypes are enriched, refreshed and expanded by some of the band's very best music. Second track "Black Holes" has the dynamic range of a folk-orchestra, "The Black-Ice World" waltzes with foot-light grace and the eerie "Nightmares of Space" spins piano and strings, backwards and forwards and sideways, for a gorgeous and brooding interlude that sounds like it comes straight from the aforementioned reel-to-reel tape. Rather than abandoning their signature sound -- progressively-plucked five-string banjos, trumpets, accordions, melodicas, musical saws, splashing drums and diverse and dreamy harmonies -- the band throws everything they have, all their intelligence and musicianship, into the arrangements. The result is a gorgeously unraveling reverie for a place and time that may be fading fast, but which promises a stronger, braver future.
"Eternity of Dimming" will be released on January 29, 2013 on Quite Scientific.