January 19, 2010 | 5:00pm
oven delicately and deft in purpose, Eugene and the 1914's Troubles EP proves that serene, no-frills songwriting will always satisfy the soul, especially in the face of a storm. And Troubles definitely qualifies as inspired rainy day music.
The EP is officially released next month, but the band currently sells them at gigs for $10. The disc opens with the dancing, ambient washes and chunky guitar riffs of "River." The song struts with the understated confidence of Eugene Owens (younger brother of Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens), the band's leader.
Recorded prior to Eugene and the 1914's current formation, Owens enlisted the help of famous friends James Iha (the Smashing Pumpkins, A Perfect Circle) and super prolific alt-country poster boy Ryan Adams. Together with several other musicians, they helped to flesh out the spectrum of guitar-driven tracks that range from toe-tapping country ("Whiskey & Wine") to moody folk ("Was Love") to jangle-ly rock ("Mr. Solitude"). Although love letters like "Should I Fall", and "Just Know", suffer from cavity-causing sweetness, there are plenty of standouts here that you will fit nicely on any rainy day playlist.