Maryrose Crook with The Renderers

Maryrose Crook with The Renderers

Maryrose Crook with The Renderers

Ghosts of Our Vegas Lives

3 Beads of Sweat

Maryrose Crook and The Renderers hail from lush, Middle-Earth-archetype New Zealand, geographically near Australia, but climate-wise, quite far removed. The dusky and dusty paths these folks trod are more akin to the mythological desert Nick Cave visits with every one of his albums. “Under the Sea” begins the disc on an appropriately brooding and lonesome note. Sparse instrumentation leads a drifting, hard-worn melody through some truly beautiful sonic landmarks — a sad choir of horns being one of them — to a grinding metal close which shatters the placid calm created throughout the song. This quietly sinister template is reprised a number of times over the course of the album, hitting its peak on the elegant closer “The Outgoing Queen.” Along the way, however, the band is guilty of recycled vocal melodies, arrangements and music dynamics. It works wonders sparingly, but multiple songs pulling the same tricks and maxing out at over 5+ minutes will try the patience of ardent alt country listeners. The ride gets even bumpier elsewhere: “Night Train” makes a play for railroad rhythm, but the attempted heft doesn’t yield much of interest. The same goes for “Sea of Total Darkness,” it’s tinged with shades of Mercury Rev, huge swirling guitar distortion and an ill-used wah-wah pedal. It’s a millstone around the neck of lyrics already drowning in theatricality. Ghosts of Our Vegas Lives would be a great EP, but as a full-length it doesn’t hold up. Hopefully the band will ascribe the aesthetic that less-is-more when it comes time to track their next album and they’ll be golden. Until then, there’s always the skip button.

3 Beads of Sweat: www.3bos.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Too Much and Never Enough
    Too Much and Never Enough

    One families indifference and abandonment gave America its greatest failure. Mary Trump explains how.

  • Summerland
    Summerland

    In rural England, a cranky woman bonds with and evacuee boy and uncovers a strange connection to her past.

  • Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
    Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations

    These geniuses of early comedy finally get the presentation they are due in this Blu-ray edition.

  • Four-Letter Words
    Four-Letter Words

    No need to worry about offending delicate sensibilities with this playlist. We’re not talking about profanity, so just take the title at face value.

  • A Genesis In My Bed
    A Genesis In My Bed

    Former Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett shares his life story in his story in an engaging and honest memoir. Reading his story feels like hanging out with a friend who’s interested in sharing how he felt living these experiences.

  • The Jayhawks
    The Jayhawks

    XOXO (Sham/Thirty Tigers). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • 18 to Party
    18 to Party

    When you’re in 8th grade, sneaking into a bar is way cooler than it is when you’re 40.

  • Adam
    Adam

    A pregnant woman finds a home in Casablanca.

  • 2020 on Fire
    2020 on Fire

    Sound Salvation takes on current events with a playlist addressing the current fight for racial and social justice in America and the battles playing out in the streets in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

  • Pokey Lafarge
    Pokey Lafarge

    Rock Bottom Rhapsody (New West Records). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

From the Archives