Music Reviews

The Red Thread

After The Last


After the break up of San Francisco-based band Half Film, Jason Lakis performed the time-honored task of withdrawing, regrouping and creating a brand new batch of tunes. Although I am unfamiliar with Half Film, on this release, Lakis (assisted by fellow San Francisco-based band The Inspectors), The Red Thread performs compelling, southwest-flavored rock. Frequent allusions are made to the spaghetti western styling of Ennio Morricone in his choice of guitar riffs, yet that is only a small part of the influence. One senses the specter of all the California bands that came before lurking in these grooves. This is a mixture of equal parts languid easy feeling and quiet desperation. From the opening track, “Spread Thin,” with its graceful swinging beat and soothing slide guitar that sets the tone, through the Tex-Mex styling of “5,” where one has to practically wipe the desert sand off the speakers, you get the feeling of speeding nowhere fast through the deserted lonely stretches of highway in the southwest. Even the countrified cover of Bad Brains’ “Sailin’ On” doesn’t detract from the overall feel of the album. Altogether, this is a gem of an album evocative of the finer work of Red House Painters and Calexico.

Badman Recording Company:

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