ABSINTHE ROSE: Black Earth: CD

Nov 16, 2015

Circle A, circle E. Gasmasks and upright bass. You got this one figured out, right? Maaaabye.Black Earth is a weird amalgam of anarcho-folk and, I shit you not, lounge music—or, if that sends you running for the hills, how about this: the album is tempered with a strangely timeless quality due mainly to vocalist Kimbo’s confident and often smoldering delivery. It harkens back to the jazz era—seriously—and makes what might be a solid-if-kinda-typical effort something else entirely. While the songs are admittedly strongest when they stick to the folk punk stuff —”Roots of Anarcho” is a chugging, solid number—they take some pretty fascinating risks here. All in all, Absinthe Rose is an odd beast, and while not all those risks pay off, Black Earth is way more varied and nuanced than releases by many of their contemporaries. Fans of Mischief Brew, Ramshackle Glory—or for those of you with ears pressed hard to the tracks—Ari And Her Banjo should all take note. Also some of the best and most fitting album art I’ve seen in some time, courtesy of somebody with the moniker of JXRXKX.

 –keith (Screech Owl, facebook.com/ScreechOwlRecords)

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