Leaving Not Arriving (2003)
Blue Design Records
By Julie Borovik
Downpilot‘s first full-length release is the perfect accoutrement to a Seattle winter; mostly mellow, at times a little gritty and for the most part predictable.
The vocal interplay between Paul Hiraga and Anne Marie Ruljancich’s is flawless, adding rich texture to the lyrics.
At times, and in oddly different ways, the music is reminiscent of both Elliot Smith and Jeff Buckley, but overall it’s unique unto itself.
The album’s two best songs are “Cold Street Light” and “Everyday Dream of the West.” The former displays Hiraga’s prowess as a vocalist and the band’s mastery at creating an equally potent score, while the latter features pedal steel guitar. Need I say more?
Recommendation: Take this disc with you to small intimate gatherings and dinner parties or use it to score night of seduction, but don’t plan on flying your devil horns to it at the next kegger. – (6/10)