The Silver Gymnasium - ATO
FILTER Grade: 81%
By Kyle MacKinnel on September 4, 2013
Never has Will Sheff run short of tales to tell. Over the years, it has become his norm to arch saturate prisms of story over loquacious mounds of musical verse. In the case of sister albums The Stage Names (2007) and The Stand Ins (2008), the disillusionment of performer life was transposed from screen to stage, respectively. The Silver Gymnasium also finds Okkervil River bedded in concept, only this time with a flair for nostalgia. Set in the pine-framed world of Sheff’s own youth in a small New Hampshire town, Gymnasium is yearning and wide-eyed, steeped in action figures and Atari. Where this record veers from its predecessors is in its pervading optimism. “Down Down the Deep River” and “All the Time Every Day” revel in their barroom swells, raising glasses to the Trans Am victories yielded by Bosses and Heartbreakers, way back when Sheff was still just learning to feel.