Digging deep into a basement closet full of stringed instruments, horns, odd percussion, and old electronic noise-makers, the boys flesh out their live sound with rich orchestrations, choral arrangements, and sonic experiments. Originally inspired by Andy's collection of old National Geographic magazines, the record tells a tale about Melville Bell Grosvenor, editor of the magazine from 1957-'67. The grandson of Alexander Graham Bell, Melville was an innovator and (in Andy's imagination) a madman. Possessed by the spirit of his grandfather, Melville takes a mystical journey through the perspectives of the silenced voices in National Geographic articles--an enslaved honey ant, a lovelorn treesnail, the disgruntled wife of a staff writer, even Ham, the first chimpanzee in outer space. With it's wide variety of voices and sounds, 'National Road' swells up like our bloated nation, bursting forth as the singular vision of an up-and-coming band.