Album ReviewOne Jug of Wine, Two Vessels★★★★
The split release EP One Jug of Wine, Two Vessels, recorded by Bright Eyes and Neva Dinova in 2004, was re-released as an LP on March 23 and includes four new songs.
The original release came from the already-established indie band Bright Eyes after the acclaimed Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground and the up-and-coming band Neva Dinova. Both bands are born out of the Omaha indie music scene, though characteristics of the scene are more evident in Bright Eyes' lead singer Conor Oberst, one of the most notable artists to come out of Nebraska.
One Jug of Wine, Two Vessels was originally released under Crank! A Record Company, a small recording company known for the band Cursive, another group out of Omaha with close ties to Oberst. The re-release of One Jug is being put out by Saddle Creek Records, which also intends to release more of Neva Dinova's earlier work under Crank! A Record Company.
The first four songs of One Jug are new to the LP release, and the songs from the original EP were redone, mostly to maintain consistency with the current progress of Bright Eyes and Neva Dinova. The four added songs fit well with the rest of the album, but do not coincide well with the original release. With the re-release, much of the tone of the original album was altered.
This holds especially true considering the evolution of Neva Dinova. The group is known for a psychedelic or folk-inspired rock, yet they have changed to accommodate the ever-growing influence of blues and country now prevalent in Oberst's work, which is evident in his two albums released with the Mystic Valley Band. Oberst and the rest of Bright Eyes made the album less noise-conscious and more musically focused, which shows the maturity of the group, but also lessens the experience of those hoping for pre-Cassadaga Bright Eyes nourishment.
The new feel of the album can definitely be seen as a positive growth for both artists. One song to pay attention to is Neva Dinova's "Rollerskating." The song is reminiscent of The Smiths' "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side" and reflects the improvement in lead singer Jake Bellows' voice, as well as the overall sound of the band. "Rollerskating" has more pop and a happier tone than Neva Dinova fans are used to, but it fits well with the new Bright Eyes song "Happy Accident," which corresponds with the sunnier side of Oberst of late.
Those now accustomed to the more precisely arranged material of Bright Eyes and Oberst will appreciate the regrouping of the band, which had been on hiatus, and will see the group effort in an edgier song, "Someone's Love."
While both groups bring their signature elements to this re-release, audiences should expect a very different album than the original One Jug of Wine, Two Vessels.