If, as usual, our summer is somewhat wet and dreary then I can think of no better remedy than to get a sun lamp, a sand pit, dig out the Bermuda shorts and stick this album on the stereo. Brent Rademaker (Beachwood sparks, Further and The Tyde) returns with GospelbeacH’s second album which, if anything, is sunnier than its predecessor. That album, Pacific Surf Line, was a glorious recreation of sixties and seventies sun kissed LA pop and rock and Another Summer Of Love continues in a similar vein although there’s a stronger seam of jangled Byrds, Big Star and Tom Petty running throughout it. With all songs written by Rademaker and Trevor Beld Jiminez they rise way above pastiche, the album packed with glorious melodies and harmonies that are infused with their forebears but stand up on their own two feet.
The album opens with the splendid harmonies of In The Desert which recalls those USAF orphans, America while the refrain is a sly nod to The Jam’s In The City. The song wafts wonderfully (whatever that means but you can probably work it out) before some spiralling electric guitars waft it even higher. You’re Already Home is another nod to those LA troubadours of yore with Brewer & Shipley perhaps the inspiration here while I Don’t Wanna Lose You has a very fine Topanga Canyon yearning while its inventive arrangement at times suggests that this is what the Blue Oyster Cult might have sounded like if they had grown up in Burbank. The excellent (i wanna see you) All The Time is Petty central with a soundalike George Harrison slide guitar solo while The City Limits hones in on Alex Chilton’s melancholic glory.
There’s some muscle with the punchy Hangin’ On and the clenched fist riff of California Fantasy but they achieve their apogee on two songs which amalgamate all of the above. Strange Days is a menacing welter of guitars and keyboards with the lyrics somewhat akin to Gene Clark’s zen like fatalism. Runnin’ Blind, which closes the album, is a souped up amalgamation of Ray Charles and Alejandro Escovedo riffs with an ethereal middle eight. A fine end to what is a really fine record.
And just as I finish this news came in of a UK tour from GospelbeacH including a Glasgow date. Certainly one to put in the diary.
- August 19 @ Green Man ’17 — Brecon Beacons, Wales UK
- August 21 @ Prince Albert — Brighton, UK
- August 22 @ Betsey Trotwood / BRENT RADEMAKER acoustic — London, UK
- August 23 @ Moth Club — London, UK
- August 25 @ Mono — Glasgow, UK
- August 26 @ The Crescent — York, UK
- August 27 @ The Castle — Manchester, UK