- Light at the End
"Light at the End" is a 2007
studio albumby the Portland, Maineband Rustic Overtones, the first album put out by the band since its break-up in 2002. The album was recorded in the spring of 2007, released on July 24th, 2007 [http://www.bullmoose.com/rel/v2_viewupc.php?storenr=258&upc=BULL-1261286 Bull Moose - Rustic OvertonesMusic Product ] ] and has become the fastest-selling local disc ever in the state of Maine [http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=123981&ac=PHfea Die-hard fans cheer Rustic Overtones' reunion | Portland Press Herald ] ] . Songs on the new album include the include the title track "Light at the End," as well as new song "Troublesome" and the previously unreleased fan favorite "Rock Like War," both of which were premiered on WCYY the day that the band announced their first patio show since their breakup. With only eleven tracks and clocking in at just over 40 minutes, the album is the band's shortest to date. Music from the album can be found on the [http://myspace.com/rusticovertones band's MySpace] .
Background and recording
After five years of pursuing separate projects such as Spencer Albee's band
As Fast As, Dave Gutter and Jon Roods' band Paranoid Social Cluband Tony Mcnaboe's solo album "Destination", members of the band spontaneously came into Portland's WCYYstudio one day in May, 2007 to announce that the band was going to reunite for the summer and play some shows at local Portland club "The Asylum." According to an article by the Portland Press Herald, drummer Tony Mcnaboe called each of the band members separately that spring and told each member that the others had already agreed to a reunion, thus tricking the members of the band into reuniting. A few weeks after, the band announced that they planned to release a new album, the first since 2001's ¡Viva Nueva!, of old material that had been left off previous releases and new material that the band was working on. The band recorded the album all through May and June at The Halo Studios in Westbrook, Maine. They then came back to WCYY to announce that they were to play at a WCYY Patio Show in July and premiered newly written song "Troublesome" and newly recorded fan favorite "Rock Like War." In late June, the band put a sampler of 12 songs from their new album "Light at the End," one of them being the later omitted "Last Night's Band." In early July, the final track list (minus the bonus track "Happy" was posted on Bull Moose Music's website, along with the cover art and a link to pre-order the album. The band released the album on July 24, 2007 to all 10 Bull Moose Music stores across the state the day of a special in-store acoustic performance.
Musical style and lyrics
Consisting mainly of songs that the band had written in various eras of their pre-breakup career, Light at the End features one of the band's broadest most diverse collection of musical styles and influences. The album's opening song
Rock Like Warfeatures a mainly hard rock first half, although the song later abruptly siwtches into a lighter, more upbeat second section that's made possible by the band's addition of a two-part string section. The guest strings are also featured heavily in the album's other hard rocker, "Oxygen". The band's third version of "Hardest Way Possible," a song that appeared in different versions on Rooms by the Hourand Viva Nueva! appears on the album in the form that the band reports they always wanted to record it, beginning with a Mellotronplaying the string harmony that appears later in the song. The horns are playing a new arrangement, having a sound reminiscent of '60's Stax/Volt. In all, the album has a much more toned down, less overly produced feel to it than the band's final pre-breakup release, Viva Nueva!
Lyrically, the album is mainly similar to other Rustic Overtones releases, with many songs, such as "Black Leather Bag" and "Carnival," telling the cryptic and often nonsensical stories of romantic situations. The song "Letter to the President," played with only bass, guitar, xylophone, and ukulele, is very much a departure from most of the band's other songs, as it features the most overtly political lyrics on the entire album and perhaps anything they've ever released before. The song "Light at the End" features mainly inspirational lyrics, saying that "all things they turn around," perhaps symbolizing the band's hopes that they will succeed now that they're back together. "Happy," a fan favorite that was left off Viva Nueva, also implies the band's happiness with reuniting due to its optimistic lyrics describing the band's friendship.
The art for "Light At The End" is done by popular Portland artist Patrick Corrigan, the artist behind the band's artwork for their 1998 release
Rooms by the Hour. The art is done in black pencil, unlike the color artwork for Rooms by the Hour. The cover is of a roach with a frowning mask of Melpomene, the Museof Tragedy, on its back inside a glass jar with its cover removed. The same roach appears on the back of the cover outside of its jar, and the track list of the album is written along its antennae. The inside art mostly consists of a gigantic scene scanned from Corrigan's sketchbook (apparent from the visible binding rings on the left of the scene) of what appears to be a man dressed as a rabbit dragging another man dressed as a rabbit amidst a surreal forest scenery. The two men dressed as rabbits from the inside art has been made into a tour T-Shirt, as has the roach from the cover.
"Light at the End" has become the fastest selling local album in
Mainehistory, according to Bull Moose Music, breaking the record previously held by the band's 2001 release, Viva Nueva!The CD was at the top of the store's sales charts for weeks, beating out other summer hits from bands such as White Stripes, Smashing Pumpkins, and T.I.In addition, the song "Rock Like War" has received large amounts of airtime from WCYY, and was consistently featured on the station's "Top 5 at 5" contest (in which fans vote online for their favorite songs) for weeks after the song's initial premier, usually at the number one or two spot. Also, samples from the song "Light at the End" have been featured as buffer music for The Laura Ingraham Showand WRKO's Red Soxcoverage.
# "The Calm" - 0:17
Rock Like War" - 4:46
# "Letter to the President" - 4:29
# "Troublesome" - 2:59
# "Hardest Way Possible" - 4:32
# "Black Leather Bag" - 4:08
# "Oxygen" - 4:12
# "Carsick" - 3:24
# "Carnival" - 3:58
# "Light at the End" - 5:06
# "Happy" - 3:12 (Bonus Track, not mentioned on CD cover)
* "Last Night's Band" - A older song that the band would perform live during the Viva Nueva! days, the song made it onto the original sampler on their
Myspacepage but was eventually omitted from the album by the band. By request of Jon Roods, the song was released as a free download to fans, and can be found and downloaded on the band's Myspace.
Velour Music Re-release
November 24, 2007, the band announced to the crowd at a show at Portland club "The Asylum" that Light at the End was to be re-released on the band's new record label, and that the re-release was to contain bonus tracks that were not included on the original release. On November 26, 2007, the band announced in a new bio on their myspace that the album was to be released on Velour Musicfor the band's wide release, and also hinted that the entire band's back catalog would soon be available through independent re-release. The national release came on March 19, 2008, coinciding with the re-release of Long Division. The new version features new cover artwork by Patrick Corrigan of two rabbits navigating a large open body of water, although the inside artwork remains the same as that included with the original July release. The new version also features a new track listing, omitting the track "Black Leather Bag" and adding in "Valentines Day Massacre," the same version featuring Imogen Heapthat was first included on Viva Nueva!, between the tracks "Light at the End" and "Happy."
*Dave Gutter - Lead Vocals and
*Spencer Albee - Backing Vocals,
Piano, Organ, synthesizers, and percussion on "Letter to the President"
*Tony McNaboe - drums
*Jon Roods - Bass
*Jason Ward -
*Ryan Zoidis -
Tenor Saxophoneand Alto Saxophone
*Dave Noyes -
Tromboneand Ukuleleon "Letter to the President"
*Tony Visconti - Producer (previously unreleased tracks from Viva Nueva!)
*Jonathan Wyman - Producer/Engineer (new material)
*Patrick Corrigan - Artwork
* [http://condalmo.typepad.com/condalmo/ Condalmo] - Portland-based book/music site; track listing for new album
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