Contrary to what they would like you to believe, Elliott Brood did not ride into town with a six-shooter and a flask of whisky for company. Yet after listening to this record, you’ll swear you’re wiping prairie dust from your face. The Toronto trio classifies its music as “death country,” and the title sticks like sweat. These are stories of woe and isolation, of journeys made and loves lost. Accompanied by the pluck of the banjo and a gentle sweep of the drums, Ambassador is nostalgic without sliding into antiquated or kitschy territory. Vocals dominate on tracks like “President (35)” and “Back of the Lot” — these guys know how to use their voices. Smell the campfires burn and flicker behind “My Friend.” Shuffle your feet to “Wolfgang.” This is how legends are made.
—Sue Carter Flinn