The title of Austin rock quartet Black Before Red's debut album, Belgrave to Kings Circle, suggests a British connection, and the band's music backs that up. Marc Dickey, Marc Ferrino, Michael Macicak, and Kevin Schneider work up an eclectic pop sound reminiscent of the '60s days of Swinging London, that time when any self-respecting group tried to get different, unusual sounds out of its instruments and the studio equipment for each track. Their music is less suggestive of the Beatles, the progenitors of that approach, however, than it is of the Kinks, perhaps because of the consistent lightness of the arrangements and the timbre of the vocals, which bear some similarity to Kinks leader Ray Davies'. Davies, however, never wrote lyrics as elliptical as these, full of imagery and aphorisms that don't quite add up, no doubt deliberately. Maybe it doesn't matter what Black Before Red is singing about, however, when they're doing it this tunefully.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann