Molina and Johnson – s/t

Secretly Canadian/Sonic Unyon

A collaboration between Magnolia Electric Co.’s Jason Molina and Centro-Matic’s Will Johnson the straightforwardly titled Molina and Johnson yields 14 songs that push the edge of the Texan folk-rock tradition admirably represented by their respective bands. Trading off songs the material Molina and Johnson have written is more in line with Johnson’s South San Gabriel work and fans of Molina’s Songs:Ohia project will likewise be pleased by the sparse guitar accompaniment. Opener "Twenty Cycles to the Ground" sets a stage that the rest of the album has trouble filling while "Almost Let You In" featuring Molina and Johnson trading verses contains the closet thing to a pop hook to be found on the record. Lyrically songs meander along the darkness at the edge of town but provide little to hold the listener’s attention. Sarah Jaffe’s surprise guest vocals on "All Gone All Gone" provide a welcome bit of colour to an album that will please existing fans but do little to win over new ones.