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The Forecast’s mix of jagged alt country and new school punk a la Hot Water Music elicits an intriguing listen, found on the Peoria, IL quartet’s 10-track debut. Armed with a male/female lead vocal tradeoff, and a barrage of hook laden tunes compact enough to leave a melody sticking in your head for days, songs like the searing “Seating Subject to Change” and “APR” thrust the blue collar American rock band into the 21st century. Merging Midwestern America’s rock savvy of artists John Mellencamp and Wilco with the real sense of heartbreak sans the annoying emo whine heard to excess these days, LATE NIGHT CONVERSATIONS is a disc whose townie charm and barroom shuffle-feel creeps up on you unexpectedly and ultimately tugs at every last heartstring, even as the obligatory emo-esque riff of “Fade In Fade Out” kicks in and the exhilarating six-minute plus “Exorcise Demons” leaves you breathless.
- Mike SOS