When I was very young and at the mercy of my parent’s taste in movies & music, I recall one of the first records I ever heard that lit me up and made me want to listen over & over was Enrico Morricone’s soundtrack to ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly ‘ (and, yes, I am talking about the original vinyl release in 1967). In the passing of years I had forgotten the thrill of first hearing that exotic and playful ‘spaghetti western’ motif until it was rekindled by the release of Dust Bowl by Rodeo, a project conceived by a quartet of Danish musicians – René González Schelbeck (aka Western Skies Motel), Jesper Bugge Kold (aka Tonelab), Jakob Westergaard and René Thorny (aka xolsen).
In advance of the album’s release, you can watch the premiere of the video for the opening track entitled “Ghost Town”. The video splices images from The Great Depression and cartoons from the same period with footage of the band member’s own children playing – an interspersing of the old & new that is paralleled in the music.
VIDEO PREMIERE – “Ghost Town”
“A rock historian, a fictional writer, a magician and a former chef forms the collective and together they tell a tale of dust, of eyes filled with dirt and the withering of a dream. A faded chest of drawers led to the resurrection of Rodeo when it revealed a hidden treasure in the form of old tapes from an incomplete recording session that had sunk into oblivion by the merciless passing of the years.” – Rodeo bio
How to describe the rest of the album? It really just had to be heard, but it is something of a sepia-tinted, cinematic fever dream with a dusty western backdrop spun from twangy guitars, harmonium, and hand percussion interwoven with pensive interludes that expose delicate electroacoustic layers and soft hissing tape loops (“Knots on a Rusty Wire”, “Messages”), and gorgeous acoustic six-string reveries that will resonate with fans of Schelbeck’s Western Skies Motel project (“No Man’s Land”). And the band really shows their playful side and some impressive musical chops with the exhilarating “Drive” which cleverly adds a surf element to the mix that would not sound out of place on a Ventures record. The scenes change quickly on Dust Bowl, but that just adds to its quirky charm. This is serious fun.
Dust Bowl is now available for pre-order from Already Dead Tapes & Records on limited edition, hand-numbered cassette and digital download with a release date of May 24, 2016.