Boomkat Product Review:
A new Vetiver album should ordinarily be considered cause for excitement, but this new offering is a collection of covers, which frankly, is bound to stifle interest somewhat. There just seems to be a lot of this sort of thing around at the moment, with Adem having pulled a Ronson as recently as last week. You'd have reason to expect Thing Of The Past to be markedly more interesting than the usual covers record, and it absolutely is. Frontman Andy Cabic has selected songs culled from sources spanning obscure country records to better known material by Townes Van Zandt and Loudon Wainwright III, calling upon the assistance of Vashti Bunyan (who contributes vocals to 'Sleep A Million Years' (penned by Dia Joyce) and Michael Hurley, whose own 'Blue Driver' gets a rendition towards the end of the LP. Something that defines Thing Of The Past - and for that matter Vetiver in general - is the kind of dedicated authenticity and old-fashioned craftsmanship that you just don't tend to encounter very often. Thom Monahan's wonderful production is a big factor in achieving that, avoiding the trap of trying to sound retro, and instead casting a an inconspicuously classic, vintage finish over the band's expertly rendered interpretations. Vetiver have always existed in a bit of a time capsule, sounding and dressing like they might have been in attendance at The Last Waltz, and their song choices on Thing Of The Past really play to their strengths. Plus, for the most part the selections are sufficiently unheard of to sound fresh and intriguing, forming a perfectly coherent album regardless of the different writers. Recommended.