Monday, August 12, 2013

REVIEW: The Love Language - Ruby Red

The Love Language's third album Ruby Red is full, rich and varied in its approach to pop music. The band consists of Stuart McLamb, his (in the words of the Merge press release) "engineer/case worker/boxing coach" BJ Burton and a large cast of co-conspirators, many of whom contributed remotely. McLamb's got a reputation as a perfectionist, and the evidence is all over this album. It's full of classic rock and pop sounds, a combination of new wave style, garage rock, catchy pop and in places an almost Spectorish, wall of sound rhythm section. Some of the tracks, like "Knots" and "Izzy" explore a variety of string and synth sounds to sort of swell it up.

The album starts out rocking - here's the upbeat opening song "Calm Down" (and a new video, released just about a week ago by Merge):

Another rocking cut is "Faithbreaker" - probably my favorite track on the record, with its insistent drumbeat, George Harrison slide guitar and full, reverb-laden vocals. Along with "Calm Down" and the big, sort of "everything goes" closing song "Pilot Light", the upbeat stuff is well-placed within the sequence of the album. "Pilot Light" carries the 70's pop/rock theme to its logical conclusion and serves as evidence of McLamb and Burton's songcraft:

It's out now (released July 23 on Merge Records), and you can listen and learn more at The Love Language's website, Facebook or Merge Records website. And they'll be back out on the road in a week or so:

The Love Language on tour:
Aug 27 Nashville, TN – Stone Fox
Aug 28 St. Louis, MO – Firebird
Aug 29 Chicago, IL – Schuba’s
Aug 30 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
Aug 31 Kansas City, MO — Czar Bar w/ Schwervon
Sep 01 Omaha, NE — O'Leaver's
Sep 02 Denver, CO – Hi Dive
Sep 03 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
Sep 04 Boise, ID Neurolux ^
Sep 05 Portland, OR – MusicFest NW
Sep 06 Eugene, OR – Cozmic Pizza %
Sep 08 Seattle, WA – Neumos %
Sep 10 San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw w/ Bleeding Rainbow
Sep 11 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Bar
Sep 12 San Diego, CA — Soda Bar ^
Sep 13 Scottsdale, AZ – Pub Rock w/ Soft Metals
Sep 14 Tucson, AZ — Club Congress
Sep 16 Austin, TX – Mohawk – Inside ^
Sep 17 Dallas, TX – Club Dada
Sep 18 Houston, TX – Mango’s
Sep 19 New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
Sep 20 Atlanta, GA — Masquerade w/ Man Man
# w/ Eternal Summers
* w/ The Critters
% w/ The Dodos
^ w/ On An On

The Love Language website
Merge Records

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