The group’s second effort, “Young Blood Rising,” rekindles that handsome, blue-eyed pop-blues-rock storytelling that singer Dave Rumsey’s good for; and the band steps forward with a confident swagger of knowing it has a couple of great anthemic lyrics and badass guitar solos stashed away for later.
The Del Toros spread that good, hooky stuff nice and even across these 13 songs, which range from the bright-toned and dreamy title track to the comfy piano-swaddled lull “Foreign Films” and up a red-dirt-riffing arc on “I’m Gone” in a quick three-song, mid-album suite. They also break out an organ, harmonica and slide guitar — sometimes all together — as in the first two-thirds of “Again.”
Rumsey’s lyrics are the constant here, but remain very much dynamic. One minute on “Quit You,” he says he’s a “sucker for your freckled skin,” the next he’s raised a glass and shouting a chorus of “here’s to forgettin’ you.” The appropriately named closer, “Hymn,” pensively completes an album that began with “Kick Drum Blues,” a restless love letter to Americana. Listening to “Young Blood Rising” feels an awful lot like returning home after a long adventure that had more ups than downs. —Matt Carney