The Red Krayola

Red Gold

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After a gap of about seven years between releases, the Red Krayola came back with not one but two CDs in 2006, the first being the full-length album Introduction, the latter being the EP Red Gold. In line with the usual way such releases go, the EP isn't as important a statement as Introduction, but Red Gold does offer a fair amount of substance in its limited six-track, 21-minute space. Half of the tracks are instrumentals which, in keeping with the Red Krayola aesthetic, have nothing particularly predictable or in common except for a sense of droll whimsy. Of these, "Bong Bong" sounds rather like post-modern gamelan music; "Paris" is kind of like a stroll along a Parisian boulevard where Django Reinhardt's good-time guitar swing meets booming gothic doom; and "Easy Street" (actually an instrumental version of a track that appeared on Introduction, "Greasy Street") is powered by a grinding riff that's pretty catchy by Red Krayola standards. Of the vocal numbers "Oh I Was Bad" offers world-weary blues of a sort with an appealingly amused air ("oh I was bad, I was not good, I didn't treat my mother like a good son should"), while "The Essence of Life" is bleak stream-of-consciousness rumination. If you're looking for noir-ish artiness along the lines of Tom Waits (though the sound itself isn't similar to Waits'), but far more offhand and nonchalantly inscrutable in its construction and delivery, much of this fits the bill.

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