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Vegas with Randolph | Above the blue

I received the new CD Above the Blue by Vegas with Randolph,which I rammed in to the car player and enjoyed, then thought, how on earth did these guys from the USA get my address. Eventually I gave up thinking and contacted Eric Kern. The band comprises: John Ratts, Eric Kern, Dave Purol, Dan Aylestock, Brock Harris and they emerge from Washington in the USA – they have released a stellar second LP.

Vegas with Randolph | Above the Blue

Vegas with Randolph | Above the Blue

The 18 track album sits inside one of those double fold CD covers and you can immediately tell time and effort has been spent on the visuals. The question is – does the Audio match the graphics?

The Better Part, opens the release and does so with some style. I am searching for a metaphor here – let’s try – stone-washed velvet vocals – you’ll get the gist when you hear the album, are encased in fuzzed instrumentation. I am reminded of The Pocket Gods, with the incessant sawing that should create a headache, but instead soothes the soul. This is a good four minute opener, as it enables Vegas with Randolph to demonstrate change of tempo, mood and lyric. Setting up the listener, for a ride through the rest of the LP.

Above the Blue finds influences from ELO swing to the fore as a sense of ‘70’s summers comes floating through the speakers. Uplifting and un-troubling to the ears, the track maintains interest with a well-paced construction laden with some intermissions which can’t help but raise a smile.

A more rock and roll root emerges with, Some Time to Live and out to the party comes some stunning bass, I recommend pushing that bass as far as it will go to immerse yourself in a sublime piece of music.

Supergirl wanders back to psychedelia. It is easy to get a sense that Vegas with Randolph pursue too many genres and., changes of pace for the album to make any sense, well I think that perception would be wrong. The well-judged pieces combine superbly, the tracks included in the LP have been as carefully considered as the artwork on the cover.

A neatly paced vocal led track, A Lesser Fool, rallies the theme of the album to the fore, love – real, unreal and unrequited, with the ever present sense of optimism, that maintains the feeling –  all will be well in the final analysis.

She Does it For Me, finds guitar playfully interacting with drum with the signature felting bringing that sense of joy and wonder that seeps out from the music. These guys are very strong songwriters.

Summertime – I just had to laugh, the irony of the title which is sand-blasted by this high tempo track. Love the way the band manage to confound expectations, where saccharine sweetness is anticipated we find a track full of twists and turns.

Classic blues-rock lays behind Marisa, a sound the band handle with ease. Containing sufficient effervescence to sit well in the album, the listener is not short-changed.

Lagavulin for Christmas – a disastrous attempt at a Celtic rock number? Not at all, all the essential tempo and rhymed vocal are here.

Finishing off part one of the release – The Tree Song – slows the pace to something akin to Simon and Garfunkel.

Vegas with Randolph then return to their concept of an album within an album in a section called Double Play, which provides a reprise – If you like their own review, which I guess makes this part – a review of a review, stay with me here….

7 tracks wander through a plethora of instruments as Vegas with Randolph pull out all the stops in a melodic section, reflecting on the central theme of the release.

To conclude there is a bonus track, but to review the bonus track just doesn’t seem the thing to do – the album is available on Above the Blue - Vegas With Randolph*

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*Purchases made through the Above the Blue - Vegas With Randolph link, will result in the indie bands blog earning a commission.

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