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For all the indie and major label CDs I have reviewed over the years, I have to admit to being a rather harsh critic. Way too many times in the past, great CD cover art has lured me into my favorite pair of headphones in hopes that the music might live up to its awesome product packaging. And too many times I have ended the experience thinking that a ”five-minute freeform jazz exploration” (quoted from the cult film SPINAL TAP) would have been better instead.
With that being said, I warmly welcomed the latest and fifth impressive release, DARK DAYS, DARK NIGHTS (Lanark Records), a very enjoyable and intense listening experience from The Reach Around Rodeo Clowns, an all-original psychobilly band hailing from Lancaster, PA.
The first thing you will notice about the new album is the very hip full color artwork and CD layout in comic book style, created by Jim Smith, best known as art director/comic book artist for the popular animated series REN & STEMPY. It’s hard to ignore the most important aspect of The Reach Around Rodeo Clowns, their original music, which could not be duplicated by another band in either studio or the live show aspect. Out of the chock-full 19-song CD, there is truly not a bad song on the disc and it can be listened to in its entirety, from song one, straight through to song 19. I can totally hear their songs included in an upcoming Quentin Tarantino film, and The Reach Around Rodeo Clowns would fit the background application perfectly!
It’s easy to see why the band has performed in major clubs all over the country and recently completed a West Coast tour from LA to Seattle, which proved the band can draw killer crowds any night of the week with their live show! The music has the heart and spirit of punk, mixed with the darkness of the blues, the joy of surf, ’60s rock ’n’ roll, and a ‘lil country Western too. Even the LA Lakers and Kings have featured The Reach Around Rodeo Clowns music on sports radio KTLK game coverage! Print media has also embraced the band and they’ve received coverage overseas, as well as stateside.
I know a lot of music fans aren’t buying CDs anymore, mainly MP3s these days, but please do your ears a favor and listen to The Reach Around Rodeo Clowns, purchase DARK DAYS, DARK NIGHTS on CD here and make sure to go see a live show soon!
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