The Room In The Wood – (Self Titled)

 

The-Room-in-the-Wood---photo-by-Jacob-Epstein-Bell

Photo by  Jacob Epstein Bell

Release date: Pre Order open now, full drop, June 22, 2018

Format: Digital, and Physical,

Label: A Turntable Friend Records

Location: Liverpool, England

Photos: (Except for youtube or gif links) Jacob Epstein Bell and Yvonne Marsden

Current Lineup: (Credits on the album)

-Paul Cavanagh guitars & bass

-Dave Jackson vocals

-Colin George Lamont drums & percussion ( 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10,12)

-Jake Woodward drums (7)

-Andy Wilson keyboards (1,6,8,10,12)

-Alistair Ligertwood cello (5)

-Natalie James & Mary McCombs backing vocals (1,7,8)

-Steve Powell engineer, co producer

-Recorded at Ark Recording Studios, 3 Birchall Street, Liverpool, L20 8PD (2017/18)

-All songs written by Paul Cavanagh/ Dave Jackson

Our Favorite Track(s): Sensation, Magical Thinking, Nothing Is Real, Greedy Stars,

Sounds Like: The Room, The Fall, Nick Cave, Tindersticks, Bill Calahan, Beck, Fleet

Foxes, The Doors (for Dragonfly), Bert Jansch, Echo & The Bunnymen, Lou Reed, The Eels


 

The one thing I love the most about Colorado Punk Rock Army is the insane amount of music we get exposed to. One month it might be hardcore punk, the next month all pop punk. Sometimes we even get to check out some post punk. Let’s talk a little more about post punk before we get into the review. Even though I’m a huge punk fan, and have been listening to post punk my whole life. I guess I never really knew it was actually a defined genre of music. The coolest thing about post punk is that crosses over into so many different genres of music.

The-Room-in-the-Wood-2---photo-by-Jacob-Epstein-Bell

Photo by  Jacob Epstein Bell

So let’s check out post punkers, Paul Cavanagh and Dave Jackson’s new outfit, “The Room In The Wood”. Both former members of “The Room” which split in 1985 have reunited to produce an exceptional new album. This album is like going through an experimental musical journey through a Russian fairytale.

The tune, “Greedy Stars”, will set your brain to relaxation. I really enjoyed the dark overtone and deep lyrical writing. The background vocals on this one are dreamy and may cause a feeling of nostalgia. Now onto the track, “Magical Thinking”. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this one make a landing on the charts. The lyrics are catchy, vocals are beautiful. I really liked the almost disco like guitar riff, as the drums bring a slow build. This song sounds a lot like something David Byrne would write.

 

“Raven Girl”, slows it down as we get pure storytelling genius. I love the guitar on this one! The progression is admirable. The drums become so important towards the ending. Again this one may hit the charts. “False Friend”, slows it down a notch. The story is just that of finding a fake or false friend. Always sucks to find out someone is like that. It reminds me a bit of something The Eels would write which makes it a great song.

“Grey Wolf Lullaby”, dives deep into a pool of dream like tones. This is poetic storytelling, with a simple bass and drum behind it. The background vocals blend well in this beautiful song. “Sensation” is by far my favorite track on the album. It has this amazing Western sound, which is easily identified. You can really hear the many different influences on the album, just by checking out this song alone. I can definitely see the rockabilly crowd enjoying this one.

“Oh my heart, after all, life itself is all about sensation”

“Sky Pool”, slows it down again, yet to just a comfortably numb feeling. We still here those sweet Western sounding riffs. Don’t be surprised if this one or “Sensation” ends up in a Quentin Tarantino movie. “Snowblind”, continues the slow direction with brilliant storytelling. Again this to me really feels like an Eels song. It’s happy and will make you skip. The guitar solo is quite elegant. “ Vermillion Sands”, starts to pick the pace back up. The chorus is quite catchy. Again I really enjoy the storytelling on this.

The-Room-in-the-Wood-1---photo-by-Yvonne-Marsden

Photo by Yvonne Marsden

“Time Machine”, deals with self- reflection and lost love. “Nothing is Real”, starts out with some beautiful acoustic and ranges to a full assault. The mix of instruments I can hear is quite extravagant. It sounds like a bit like something the, “Grateful Dead” may have done during their experimental phases. Last, but not least we have, “Snakeways”. This pure acoustic and vocal song caps off the end of the Russian fairy tale story. Although not my favorite song on the album it closes out the elegant album.

The-Room-in-the-Wood-8---photo-by-Jacob-Epstein-Bell

Photo by  Jacob Epstein Bell

Overall this album is pure bliss. With tracks like, ‘Nothing Is Real’, ‘Magical Thing’, and “Sensation’, the duo have crafted a fairytale album. They have not missed a beat since 1985. You can download and purchase physical copies here, on June 22, 2018. Be sure to follow them on Facebook as well. Be sure to check out A Turntable Friend Records as well.

Poptone – Poptone

Release date: late 2017/early 2018?

Format: Digital

Label: Cleopatra

Location: Los Angeles

Current Lineup: Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins and Diva Dompé

Our Favorite Track(s) : Mirror People, No Big Deal, Go!

Sounds Like: Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, Love and Rockets mixed with The Stooges and The Clash


This is an album of reimagined Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, and Love and Rockets songs, but more stripped down and simplified. No glittery 80s synths, no dark oppressive drums. Just a solid three piece band, a la simple punk music, with some fuzz on the bass. The hooks are all there and the rhythm section is super good. It’s enjoyable to hear these classic songs in a different way, even if they are somewhat more mellow in tone….the raw bones of the songs are still very vibrant and alive. While I found it surprising to be the album opener, the cover of “Heartbreak Hotel” is smart and well thought out, keeping with the voice and style of the rest of the album.

The feel of Poptone is fresh and modern, while still keeping with their vintage sound from the 70s and 80s. This is a perfect album for when you want to hear these songs, but you don’t want them to take over your sonic space like the original versions did. I could see this being played over dinner, or in a movie, or for when you just want to chill out. It lacks the intensity and production of the originals, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. These songs were well crafted from the start, lending them to be the perfect mellower versions of themselves.

Links:

https://www.poptonetheband.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/poptonemusic/

Bandcamp: https://poptone.bandcamp.com/album/poptone