OVER the span of three universally well received albums, Dawes have displayed an amazing knack for the performance of folk influenced rock that dismisses the more homogenised and contrived side of the genre in favour of something altogether more pure and endearing. Whilst it’d be an accurate statement to say that this notion of the Californian four piece being an immensely likeable group is exemplified by their latest outing All Your Favourite Bands, that’d be an injustice; as what they’ve produced merits the heady title of their best album to date.

Led by looming keys and an infectious bass groove, ‘Things Happen’ pays homage to the melodic rock stylings of 70’s stalwarts such as Bread and America; manifesting in its understated delivery and heartrending tendencies. What is a simple concept at face value, ‘Things Happen’ describes the very nature of the lives we lead, demonstrating our distinct lack of power over any instance that has the potential to crop up and the tendency for best laid plans to go awry.

‘Somewhere Along The Way’ is a piano-based and story-driven ballad steeped in the traditions of Americana, describing the pitfalls of a turbulent relationship with a deeply complex individual that eventually lost its appeal. Punctuated by a quintessential guitar solo that could’ve been culled from the depths of The Allman Brothers back catalogue, it is one of the greatest tracks that they’ve ever committed to tape.

The discordant guitar of ‘Don’t Send Me Away’ provides an excellent foundation for singer/songwriter Taylor Goldsmith’s impassioned plea to a disgruntled lover, with the despair continuing upon the purging ‘All Your Favourite Bands’; in which he projects goodwill towards a former partner who’d once been integral to his very existence. Sure to touch a nerve with all of those who see music and the artists they love as one of the most facets of life due to its off kilter but sweet sentiment, his claim to wish that “all your favourite bands stay together” is a sweet sentiment that epitomises the ideal that he truly has made peace with the former beau in question.

The raw and delightfully stripped back ‘To Be Completely Honest‘ recalls the introspective, pop-centric folk of James Taylor before the blistering guitar leads the tracks towards blues influenced classic rock behemoths such as Bad Company and the work of Joe Walsh following his tenure in The Eagles.

‘Waiting For Your Call’ wades into the harmonic yet sorrowful realm that The Band mastered upon Music From The Big Pink and more than does it justice, whilst ‘Right On Time’ is a powerful song laced with superb percussion work from Griffin Goldsmith, forceful vocals and brief flashes of great guitar work.

Reaching its conclusion with the incredibly engaging ‘Now That It’s Too Late Maria’, Goldsmith laments upon the many missteps and miscalculations that thwarted the relationship in question, as well as detailing the various dilemmas that were faced in the wake of its demise. Containing a series of stunning, Mark Knophler-esque licks during its middle section as well as dexterous percussion and sedate keys, this nine minute finale manages to encapsulate everything that makes this record truly something to behold as well as being a fantastic piece in its own right.

For existing fans of the group, expect to be delighted with what their most recent spate of recording and writing has yielded; and for those who are presently unfamiliar; prepare yourself to be bowled over by the sheer, colloquial magic of this record, accentuated by their amazing fluidity as a band capable of turning their hand to whatever they deem appropriate.