More Music

And now, I present a feature that we'll call (at least for a bit)

Underappreciated Gems

And our first Entry is. . .

King Black Acid

Who get in because of not 1, not 2, but Three different CDs done in notably different styles over five years bracketing the New Millenium. Sadly they / Principle Maestro Daniel John Riddle seem to be on hiatus / defunct now (perhaps real life beckoned) which is a bit of a shame. So Starting with the Most Recent we have.


The Mothman Prophecies


Yep, the Movie Soundtrack. . .


The Mothman Prophecies was a 2002 suspense/supernatural film that starred Richard Gere. The soundtrack responsibilities fell to the duo of Tomandandy, who (one surmises) collected Low and King Black Acid to contribute songs. In the end King Black Acid contributed Seven songs which makes up most of the first disc. All of the songs contain beautiful haunting melodies with evocative lyrics generally about love and remembrance. If one wants references, one might imagine Mezanine era Massive Attack meets Obscured by Clouds / Meddle era Pink Floyd. No jamming, no guitar heroics, just seven gorgeous songs. The movie single Half-Light more or less by Low is also quite tasty. The second disk gives you some passable Enoesque soundscapes by Tomandandy. All in all Not what you expect from a Movie Soundtrack and a great (if obscure) addition to anyones collection.

Which brings us to our Second Entry

Loves a Love Song

Released just prior to Mothman Prophecies (2000) and nothing at all like it. Here King Black Acid goes for A BIG sound. Power chords coming out all over the place and more than a smidgen of guitar heroics. Balancing this out are many delicate and beautiful soft passages that serve as the highlight of the whole affair. Tying this all together are some of Daniel John Riddle's most beautiful confessional (One would guess?) lyrics and his very good lead vocals. King Black Acid may be the last place one would look for the (last?) great American Arena Rock LP, but boy do they deliver. Fans of Kansas, Rush, Journey, Porcupine Tree et al could probably find a lot to like here.

Which brings us to the Pièce de Résistance

Sunlit

Released in 1996, this is one of the best releases of the 1990s. Seriously. Three Songs. Each within shouting distance of 20 minutes. The First song, Some Things Must Be Believed to be Seen starts with the sound of the ocean and soft, sort of lazy guitar that gently leads into soft slow vocals. The song then builds slowly reaching a soaring climax that Mogwai / Mono et al wish they could find more often. The second song Headful starts more fully formed with prominent piano parts and a great lazy afternoon feel to it that carries you along. The third song Think Away is a pure freak out with insistent whispered vocals, found sounds, and solo guitar and occasional synth sounds that builds slowly but insistently into one of the more terrifying musical trips this side of Heresie or Delirium Cordia. All in all a ( ** nearly ** )perfect release made more impressive by the fact that legend has it that Sunlit was done more or less "live" in the studio with DJR directing the band with hand signals and the like. A must have.

** After listening to this 100s of times over the last 10 years or so about the only negative I can come up with is that the drumming might be a bit simple / pedestrian over most of the first two tracks. However given the "live" nature of the recording that might have been essential to keeping the whole project together. Any doubts about Mr Adamo's abilities are dispelled in the climax of Think Away. . .

Until next time. Have Fun!