Friday, December 31, 2010
Seeing the trailer for the upcoming documentary "Rowland S. Howard:Autoluminescent" last night had me throwing this record on immediately. I was very disappointed when Howard passed away from liver cancer in 2009 at the youthful age of 48. I feel that he was one of the best, most creative and most influential guitarists that ever lived.
After changing the entire face of Post-Punk with his agressive, smarmy and gut-wrenching style with "The Birthday Party", he moved on to the more artful and mature sound of Simon Bonney's "Crime and the City Solution". Several good records into that project he, his brother Harry and a fellow named Epic Soundtracks quit the band and blazed a new trail with Genevieve McGuckin.
"These Immortal Souls" saw Roland S. Howard taking a stab at vocals. Worked for me. Initially hearing this, I was shocked to hear tasteful and charming vocal stylings from such an exceptional guitarist. These carefully crafted ballads and rockers are ripe with the vibes of drunken hymns and sea shanties like much of his Nick Cave-fueled past without feeling the potential emulating qualities that can be contrived or misleading. This is a romantic yet beautifully strung out testosterone-lead Dream Pop record of epic proportions. Highly Underrated. When you hear it, tell a friend.
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