An odd addition to the Dark Entries stable, Oakland’s Blues Lawyer don’t exactly reflect the label’s usual cadre of ‘80s synthpop reissues, darkwave newcomers, and post-punk singles. However, both Dark Entries and Blues Lawyer are SF area stalwarts and it’s good to see locals supporting locals. The band has thickened their sound in the past few years, moving from something of a side project for Elyse Schrock (The World, Pang) and Rob Miller (Mall Walk, Christian Singles) to their main focus. Along with the shift, the band brings the sound out into the air, embracing a broader panorama of power pop and indie alike. The band’s previous albums had something of a homespun charm to them, couching hooks between a roughed-up exterior and tongue-in-cheek demeanor. For All In Good Time, the band shacked up once more with Andrew Oswald of Marbeled Eye at Secret Bathroom Studios, giving the new album a good bit of gloss and a proper pop punch.
The shift in approach pays off, shirking a bit of the band’s more ramshackle impulses and nods to the Flying Nun legacy for an album that vaults through the caffeinated clamor of Teenage Fanclub, Ash, and Sugar, with dashes of Bratmobile occasionally eating at the edges. The vocals volley pretty evenly between Rob and Elyse, letting both show their strengths as they slide further into their love for pop trappings. The fidelity bump lets the band stretch out, wielding ecstatic solos, layered harmonies, and anthemic accents that would have felt a bit out of place on their previous two albums. Though, there are still some nods to their more humble beginnings, especially on a few Elyse-fronted numbers that wouldn’t feel quite out of place among the scattered remains of Look Blue Go Purple. They’ve evolved, but never forgotten what made them click in the first place. Here, though, the band feels as comfortable as ever, letting their sound gel into something that’s immediately classic and indebted to the fertile core of their Oakland surroundings.
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