Currently weathering the storms battering the UK as he tours, Gill Landry’s latest release is perhaps the best of his career. Skeleton At The Banquet is a gorgeously dark and delicious album, deeply grained with Americana tropes – Dylan like troubadouring on Angeline, western vistas on The Wolf, badlands existentialism on Nobody’s Coming and drunk in the gutter romance on The Refuge Of Your Arms. With Landry’s fine baritone voice oozing throughout along with grand guitar and excellent arrangements, it’s a winner from start to finish.
Landry describes the album as, “a series of reflections and thoughts on the collective hallucination that is America” and it’s true that the songs are not narratives per se. Rather, Landry summons up a mood which is reflective but also rather lost. The Place They Call Home, a song best heard in a low light, glimmers with an almost apocalyptic despair as weeping violin accompanies this series of snapshots, the characters almost ghostlike. However, Landry dresses all of this musing in immensely listenable melodies and arrangements such as on the lush neon-lit noir of I Love You Too and the gypsy rhythms of Trouble Town. All in all, quite magnificent.