Exploding out of San Francisco's hotbed of musical creativity, The Robber Barons run the gamut from Americana to alternative rock without abandoning a sense of strong, cohesive songwriting. Dragging The River, the debut release from The Robber Barons, immediately conjures up imagery as lonesome as a Mojave Desert rest stop at 3 a.m. while remaining as unrestrained as a snowed-in tavern ignoring last call. Shades of early REM, 16 Horsepower and Steve Earle run throughout this impressive debut combining elements of classic country, alternative rock and dark, southern gothic folk. Dragging The River is ripe with diverse songwriting and subject matter yet undeniably sets a cohesive mood. Haunting dynamics of loss and desperation give way to a tornado of twangy and soulful guitar. Stellar production from Dylan Magierek (Mark Kozelek, Call And Response) helps The Robber Barons score big on their first outing, serving up a collection of songs that already sounds like a classic.