2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Record of the Year,
This review is from: Led Zeppelin Five (Audio CD)
I could tell you that this latest record, the dozen-th or so recording by LA indiepop stalwarts The Black Watch, is their best yet, but somehow that doesn't suffice, because, sure, their last few records have been surprisingly [think of EVEN ONE other band making records of this caliber 20+ years into their career] excellent, but this is the sound of a band that has been re-inspired and re-invigorated.
"Pay attention to the feeling that you've been here before," frontman John Andrew Fredrick sings on the introductory "Oscillating," but when the band tears it open on "How Much About Love," buffeted by silky harmonies and pillows of purring Mellotron, you realize you've been set up. Sure, there's nothing here the band hasn't done before, but they've never done it quite this well, as on the bouncy "Like in the Movies" (in this case, "that one Godard film"), the wall-of-soundfest "Emily, Are You Sleeping?" and the slashing riffery of "Earl Grey Tea" (which recalls a post-punk take on another great LA band, Love), which are all among the band's best-ever songs, embellished by the able vocals and lead guitar of newest member Steven Schayer (ex- of New Zealand's The Chills). Add the effervescent jangle-pop of "Stars in the Sky" and the gorgeously lethargic psychedelia of "Kinda Sorta," and you've got--easily--the record of the band's already impressive recording career.
Don't be fooled by the record title; there are no lumbering proto-metal riffs or wailing-cat white boy blues, but this is, generally speaking, a "classic" rock record. Such a move would, in lesser hands, reek of po-mo hipster irony, but TBW have earned the right to be cheeky, 'cause this record is a monster.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 10, 2011, 10:29:58 AM PDT
Lawrence Bausch says:
I saw The Black Watch by accident as a sub at one of this summer's IPO shows in L.A. I was truly astonished- a great band indeed. This cd was the first one I bought (I have 8 so far), and, while I can't claim to know them well enough to pick a 'best', I do appreciate your particular comments on the contents of this newest- a fine one indeed. Thanks for your review. BTW- since it looks like you are in L.A., did you see the show I mentioned? Do they play many shows?
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 22, 2011, 10:47:48 AM PDT
They don't play as often as we'd wish, of course, but fairly regularly lately. Missed the IPO show, though. This lineup of the band is fantastic, and they are at the top of their game, with the addition of Steve Schayer (ex-Chills, Clay Idols) and his own excellent songs. And they're only getting better, judging from the new tunes on their recently-started YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/theblackwatchmusic)! Dig it!
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