Richard Barlow | Pittsburgh City Paper

Richard Barlow 
Member since May 31, 2010



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Re: “Local rockers Round Black Ghosts release Line Up

I'd like to offer up my alternative review of Line Up;

Following on, both literally and figuratively from the 2009 album 'Listen Loud' the new album by Round Black Ghosts 'Line Up', sees the group expand their sound and move in new and interesting musical directions.

The album starts with a direct segue from the previous album. 'Going to Hell (Line Up Intro)', takes the musical theme that began and ended the 'Listen Loud' album and plays with it for less than a minute, before upping the intensity with the almost Dylanesque opening track 'City Lights'. The production and arrangements announced in this track show a growing confidence and maturity from the band.

'Thick As Thieves' takes the energy down a tiny bit and sets the pace for the next few songs. The instrumentation of 'Thick As Thieves' reminded me in parts of Blur (circa 'Chemical World', which is a huge compliment in my book).

'Wolf Song' is probably my favourite song lyrically on the album. As I was listening to it I kept wanting to hear with Tom Waits or Nick Cave cover it (anyone in the band know their agents?).

'Robots Teach Us' was probably my favourite track musically. I loved the complexity of the arrangements, the addition of the mid-70's Bowie sounding saxophone and horns really worked well.

'Treehugger' is a down-tempo, pastoral acoustic number, a pretty vignette, that left me wanting just a little bit more, but in a good way.

'Only Noise' picks the pace again and puts the album on course for the final track of the album, the anthem-antic 'Drunks Don't Start Revolutions'. I imagine this song is a great one to experience live in the presence of RBG fans, and hopefully one day soon the band will get a following big enough that I get to experience this song in the midst of an appreciative crowd.

The band have not succumbed to any sophomore slump with this album, they have showed a definite progression both in presentation and their comfort with different musical styles, all the while developing their own distinct sound. I look forward to seeing what the Round Black Ghosts have to offer us going forward.

Posted by Richard Barlow on 05/31/2010 at 7:41 PM

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