A Bassist, Singer – songwriter and Drummer creation is
RNDM – Ghost Riding – Dine Alone Records – Out 4th March 2016
RNDM have delivered their second album Ghost Riding. Eleven tracks of collaboration of bassist Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam), singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur and drummer Richard Stuverud (Fastbacks/War Babies). The result is contemporary alt-rock with an edge. A Bassist, Singer/songwriter and Drummer creation is Ghost Riding an album with an inventive edge.
Opening with Stumbling Down, we are in a bleak industrial sound scape of cavernous space and the edge of metal for the instrumentation and vocals to bounce off in a marching beat starting the journey that is Ghost Riding the creativity of a Bassist, Singer/songwriter and Drummer.
The title track changes the textural landscape again with strings, anthem and a feeling that this is contemporary classic music rock shaped for the twenty-first century. The cry of “We are still young” heard throughout is the connectivity between instruments and vocals. Jeff Ament says, Ghost Riding embodies what we went after on this record: pushing ourselves creatively with new songwriting approaches, unique sounds, groves and uncomfortable instrumentation… Joseph wrote a great take of longing of childhood past, really beautiful words”
Do not expect the music to flow gently from one track to another on this record. The music has an intensity and power as it explores the vast tonal palette available for across popular contemporary music in the twenty-first century. Opening with an automated telephone message, then a deep blues groove of guitar and piano Stranger Man is a bluesy ballad that sits within Ghost Riding and stands out through its difference. With its gentle lead breaks and vocals that tell the tale central to any blues ballad. Trouble is a stripped down rhythmical track, where the song rules and vocals take control. The track has acoustic qualities that have an electrified border and borrows from the power of rap. The whole album is a conflict at time with melodies and then a discordance that makes this an album you have to listen to and understand. It is as far removed from catchy stadium rock as a rock inspired album can be.There are tones and rhythmical shape of Southern Rock on NYC Freaks and the closing track Dream Your Life Away has a Progressive and ethereal feel. Yes, Ghost Riding the creativity of a Bassist, Singer/songwriter and Drummer delivers music that speaks on many levels.
The total is more than a rhythm section and songs well sung. With the swell of symphonic proportions the tracks cascade in a waterfall of sound from the speaker. The levels never over-cooked the vocals never overpowering this is a tapestry of tonal colours that collide and meld into harmonious patterns tasteful and modern.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Stumbling Down
3. Ghost Riding
4. Got To Survive
6. Stronger Man
8. NYC Freaks
9. Kingdom In The Sky
10. It’s Violence
11. Dream Your Life Away