The city that grunge built may not be the hotspot for music these days, but that doesn't mean that some of the best new material still isn't coming out of that region. After releasing a debut full-length and another EP worth of material, The Lonesome Crowded West is an epic album for the young trio. While it sprawls out over almost 75 minutes, the disc never really drags and balances itself perfectly, rocking out in some moments while keeping it sedate for others.
The album reads like a long road trip through desolate country. The lyrics definitely make reference to wandering through the countryside with titles like "Out Of Gas," "Trucker's Atlas," and "Convenient Parking." The music on the disc is elusive and interesting as it goes from meandering instrumental to almost full-on punk. At some points, it feels like an offshoot of label-mates Built To Spill, with their long, creatively constructed songs. One of the best releases of 1998 thusfar.