Album Review::Black Before Red – Belgrave To Kings Circle

Black Before Red are from Austin, Texas and many of its members have had stints in Okkervil River. The band have a new record Belgrave To Kings Circle on I Eat Records. They show a very wide range of pop influences throughout the record, comparable to a simplified, yet more melodic Olivia Tremor Control. Underneath Gold rings in with bass and drums interplay accented by horns and Sea & Cake style vocals. Matagorda chugs along with sweet harmonies, piano, marching snare rolls and 60’s pop melodies. A favorite of mine, Bossa Nova #7 drifts along with its’ soft rhythmic stripped down percussive vibe, incorporates some creative changes and drumming. Finding Peace In The City takes another stylistic step by introducing the pedal steel, adding country leanings to the already substantial sonic landscape. A Passenger’s Guide To Getting By starts with an acoustic guitar and then with a stutter, more instrumentation comes in to color the song. Waiting For The Bang closes the album with a calm feeling, a lullaby like strum and a sparse keyboard and acoustic guitar arrangement. Black Before Red successfully condenses the history of rock n roll within the confines of Belgrave To Kings Circle. Each of the eleven tracks come across as distinct and inspired, offering smartly crafted themes. In short, Black Before Red have made one of the more likeable records i’ve heard recently.

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