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A Welcome Return
Red Parole (Karate Body Records)
Well, it's about time. It's been some 10 years since Seluah wowed critics and indie music lovers with their self-titled debut EP, which was a nice blend of trippy pop and general weirdness. There's been a craving in Louisville ever since.
Red Parole, which officially will release April 10, picks up right where that first recording left off, starting with the January single release, "The Other Side of the Gun." The new disc is nine tracks long, more than 50 minutes in all (including a bonus track titled "The Winch") and, like its predecessor, will sound right at home to the ears of Pink Floyd and Radiohead fans.
Recorded at The Funeral Home with producer Kevin Ratterman, Red Parole is at times somber and at other times dark. For instance, the single is a revenge story with the premise being that "it feels so good on the other side of the gun." The song eases its way through the first four minutes, and then kicks in at about the 4:40 mark to lift the listener with a brand new wind.
The pattern continues through much of the record, with compositions setting up on a moody marathon, only to unleash into a wall of sound and wet guitars to accentuate a dark story. And then there are songs like "Sail Straight Into the Bombs" that set up on an almost Cake-like groove, with an interlude of distorted guitar riffs that serve only to briefly break up the groove.
"Black Sand" is another interesting track, which shifts into a beautiful acoustic refrain around halfway through its eight-minute running time, only to slowly build into a neo-spaghetti-western theme and then a giant hail of Hendrix-influenced noise rock.
The word that comes to mind to describe Red Parole is "interesting." It's a sonic marvel in many ways, and no doubt those who have been waiting for Ed Grimes and company to get back to this project will be giddy.
But to some, it will sound like the soundtrack to a nightmare – not that such a description is necessarily criticism, but this isn't the album to crank while you drive around in your convertible this summer. My recommendation is this: Fully digest this album; listen to it in headphones in your bedroom with the lights off and the volume up. Seluah seems best served in very personal doses.
Find out more at seluah.bandcamp.com.