Robb MacLean - vocals, guitar
Patrick Carrie - guitar, vocals
Justin Entsminger - bass
Jon Phillip - drums & percussion
Being in a band used to be different. It wasn’t all about getting the best support slots, collecting the most friends on MySpace or dressing a certain way in order to sell records. It was about crafting music that celebrated your influences, seeing the country unfold via bug-splattered van windows and meeting people and sharing experiences that wouldn’t only help spike sales in certain markets, but would also help define you as a human being.
When Limbeck frontman Robb MacLean sings “It feels like I grew up too late” on Limbeck, you get the feeling that might be what he’s referring to—and with the band’s third full-length, they’ve finally done just that. Equal parts rock, Americana, pop and country, Limbeck proves that these four former punk rockers from Orange County and Milwaukee have finally grown into their cowboy boots and crafted a disc that everyone from The Bamboozle to Bonnaroo can appreciate.
In fact, Limbeck—which also includes guitarist/vocalist Patrick Carrie, bassist Justin Enstmiger and drummer Jon Phillip—might be the only band on Earth who can be equally well-received touring alongside pop-punkers like New Found Glory and the All-American Rejects or Americana acts like Lucero and Rhett Miller. “We can play in some kid's basement or we can play somewhere where they have a nice dressing room for us and they treat us like royalty,” explains Carrie. “Both of those scenarios feel comfortable at this point because we’ve been hopping around for a while now.”
Although the members of Limbeck are intrinsically modest, “hopping around for a while” is a bit of an understatement, even for them. Over the past five years, the band have logged countless miles criss-crossing the country in their trusty van, which features various mementos lovingly taped to the ceiling—including Elijah Wood's autograph. However, while Limbeck contains its fair share of road anthems (see the driving 4/4 rocker “Let Me Come Home”), this time around MacLean found inspiration in being at home—and, more specifically, the little things that most of us might not notice.
“I’d say this record is more about people than places,” MacLean explains when asked about the disc’s central theme. This is abundantly obvious on tracks “Reading The Street Signs,” which recounts the details of an extended bus ride with a fiction writer’s eye for detail, or the raucous “Let’s Get Crazy,” which recalls some unheeded dating advice with memorable lines like, “If I was on the shore with you, I wouldn’t go in the sea.”
Musically, Limbeck is also a huge progression for the band. Instruments like ukulele, bar chimes, vocoder, horns and strings add new sonic textures to the band’s sound, while Beach Boys-esque harmonies fill out the melodies on tracks like the sunny opener, ”Trouble.” “On this record we had so much more time so it allowed us to really experiment with the songs,” Carrie explains about recording the album sporadically over a seven-week period last summer in Eudora, KS with longtime producer and friend Ed Rose (Get Up Kids, Motion City Soundtrack).
“We’re ecstatic about playing all of these songs,” he continues when asked if it feels daunting to get ready to begin another seemingly endless touring cycle in support of Limbeck. “I’m really interested in what this album will sound like live,” adding that the band will be adding a fifth member to fill out the album’s complex arrangements live. “I’m just excited for all of it,” he finally gushes, unable to contain his enthusiasm. “’Excited’ is a word that I use a lot these days.”