The Cape Fear River is a strange, meandering snake of water that slows to a halt in Wilmington prior to reaching its terminus in the Atlantic Ocean. Downtown is perched right on the river’s narrow banks, sometimes leaning over and looking right in to the murky water. Rodeo Boy is a river band. Carving their sound out of quirky hooks and profound, latent pop, much in the same way that a river creates its own path, brothers James and Jeff Reardon (guitar/vocals and drums, respectively) and Charles Brookshire (bass) firmly established their original, ear-bending sound in Wilmington’s Front Street clubs and up and down the eastern seaboard. But it’s the addition of Jason Caperton’s nimble, rootsy guitar that has taken Rodeo Boy from solid indie trio to a fully developed band capable of ensnaring college rockers’ ears nationwide. James Reardon, free of lead guitar duties, is now able to focus his energies on his vocal delivery and the difference is substantial. Reardon’s voice evokes early Neil Young as well as Let’s Active’s Mitch Easter, making phrases like “I live at the bottom of the only hill in town/So I’m always down” resonate with calculated cool and aplomb. Brookshire and Jeff Reardon combine to create both bouncy, pogo-inducing beats and swaying, droopy rhythms, seamlessly bridging the gap between both, just as the river itself rages in torrents and mellows in eddies. Lovingly recorded by Needles frontman Chad Heye, The Pine and the Promise is just a glimpse into the true promise that this remarkable band has to fulfill.