Vetiver main man Andy Cabic's most interesting work occurred during his time with Bay Area minimalist funkateers Tussle; he has also played guitar for Devendra Banhart when the latter was at his peak. Which is not to belittle Vetiver, who make fine roots rock, but they lack a certain fire and distinctiveness. I've found their most rewarding release to be the 2008 covers album Thing of the Past. On their original songs, Cabic and company come across like a more introspective Fleet Foxes. As steeped in folk-rock history as they are, Vetiver have modernized over the last decade to become a peddler of sleek, mellow rock that could stand to be more colorful and obtrusive.
by Dave Segal
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