Roman Candles unveil LP ‘The City is Closed’
The North Carolina-based band Roman Candles features Daniel Jackson, Matt Stache, Grey Revell, Justin Kent and Rodney Wallin. In 2013, these studio musicians came together in Charlotte with a new mission: to write and perform their own music. They have noted bands such as King Crimson, The Verve and Echo and the Bunnymen as their inspiration, as well as their love of classic American rock. So, if you like feel-good rock with a sunshine feel, read on.
As the follow up to their 2020 Proximo EP, The City is Closed is their debut album. Full of heart and feel-good rock melodies, it explores the pain of toxic relationships, the turmoil of their ends and the eventual joy in learning to appreciate the small beauties of everyday life. Roman Candles recorded the album at Catalyst Recording in Charlotte, NC., with Rob Tavaglione at the helm as Producer. Numerous other musicians can be heard on the album too, including pedal steel local legend Jim Ashton and members of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.
Now, let’s talk about the tracks.
‘Mama Told Me (Pros and Cons)’ starts off with a classic Americana swagger, giving you anticipation for what’s coming. The vocals only make an entrance around 2 minutes into the song, giving you the chance to soak in each instrumental addition along the way. Then, at the chorus, the vocals erupt into a choir-like build-up that lifts the instrumentation with it. Then, in ‘Hatchet Man’, the heart-beating drums, vocals and catchy guitar riffs take centre stage, roaring into the distance. The song glides seamlessly into the distance, making this a great road trip song.
Then, with ‘Wine’, the album takes a different turn: a heartfelt country lullaby about losing everything and starting afresh. It is warmly introspective and the strings are a lovely addition to the track, helping to build on the pathos of the subject matter.
Moving on, ‘Big Noise’ certainly lives up to its name. Here, the album flips back to the energy heard in ‘Hatchet Man’: its country tones are strong, with its fun and bouncy feel. Plus, the guitar solos are foot-tappingly good. If you want a song to cheer you up, then ‘Big Noise’ is it. ‘Red California’ has this feel too, though with stronger, grittier guitar riffs and extra reverb.
In sum, The City is Closed is a hearty and wholesome Americana record, taking you through every emotion of toxic relationships and the damage they leave behind. There is something oddly cathartic about the order of the tracks on this album too: interspersed are moments of joy and utter pain, just like in life itself. However, the music is pure feel-good. The tracks of The City is Closed have a warmly layered, big-band feel to them. They’re full, multi-instrumental and pure of heart. I may be writing this just as Storm Eunice has made some trees fall to the pavement, but these songs by Roman Candles take me straight to summer.
To listen to The City is Closed in full, click this Spotify link.
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