Royal City

Alone at the Microphone

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

The main focus of Royal City's singer/songwriter, Aaron Riches, was to write the songs on Alone at the Microphone quickly and with as much ease as possible. The end result is a lo-fi recording with fair-quality alternative/punk songs featuring a certain folk influence. Alone at the Microphone is sure to be a pleasurable listening experience, but only after accepting the shabby songwriting work, off-key vocal output, and folk-sounding guitar work. Still, with a few more spins on the turntable, the record is revealed to be chock-full of stunning lyrical expression, colorful and brightly textured percussive statements, and electrifying and somewhat breathtaking overall moodscapes. The production reveals with dexterity the honesty and sincerity in the band's intent, in a record filled with themes about death, vomit, corpses, dogs eating one's liver, etc. Perhaps it is most fitting to describe the lyrical content as possessing a dark mystifying surrealism. At times lush and pretty in their recording quality, the songs only become comfortable after repeated listens. Royal City's Alone at the Microphone is a powerful yet somehow charming statement of how a band can take the darkest of issues and bravely create music appealing enough to strike the listener -- although not immediately.

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