Thursday, June 22, 2006

Roman Candle: finally!

It's been about a year and a half since I first wrote about Roman Candle. Back then, it sounded like their album -- a re-recorded version of their 2002 debut Says Pop -- would be coming out any day now. As detailed in this week's Independent , there was a lot of record label foolishness that delayed the release of The Wee Hours Revue beyond all reason. [BTW, Grayson Currin has written some great pieces for the Indy lately!] Finally, though, V2 released it this week, and it sounds like a winner. It's a heart-felt collection of soulful, melodic songs that should have a broad appeal.

The core of the band, brothers Skip and Logan Matheny, are from Wilkesboro, and they definitely show a country/roots influence. This is particularly evident in the lovely "New York This Morning," a shuffling acoustic number. But other songs, like "Winterlight", show a broader pop palette. Both the drum production and Logan's style often suggest an electronic/dance beat without ever really reaching that point. With mild surprise, I find that (contrary to my earlier prediction), Chris Stamey's production hasn't really changed the band's sound that much, at least on the couple of head-to-head comparisons I can make right now. But it has made a difference -- I think you can hear how much richer the sound is if you listen to the two versions of "Something Left To Say" back-to-back.

"New York This Morning"
"Something Left To Say" (The Wee Hours Revue 2006. Buy it here.)
"Something Left To Say" (Says Pop 2002 -- or maybe a demo?)

You can hear a few other songs on the band's MySpace page, including "Why Modern Radio is A-OK With Me" -- I mentioned this in my previous post, and its snarky jabs at the radio still make me laugh. The CD release show is tonight (6/22) at the Cat's Cradle with the Old Ceremony. They'll perform the whole album, and are promising "surprise guest performances", which will probably include collaborators Thad Cockrell and Keegan DeWitt. They play again at the Pour House with Patty Hurst Shifter on Saturday (6/24).


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