Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Emma Ruth Rundle : "Marked For Death"

In some ways there is not much difference between Emma Ruth Rundle's  second solo album and the last Marriages album, which is a good thing. If you were expecting just her and an acoustic guitar then think again. Perhaps the punches are not as rock and the songs are less jarring in their dynamic shifts, there is a very stormy mood that brews in the first songs. There is a more uplifting shade of gray to "Medusa" which falls somewhere between a ballad and a pop song. Rundle's keen ear for melodies keeps getting sharper as shown on the powerful "Hand of God" that has more of a acoustic folk feel, but still remaining slathered in rock brooding. I can hear hint of country influence on the ballad "Heaven". This is the first song I'm not a hundred percent sold on in the first listen. I think some of the hesitance in the melody and the more minimal arrangement doesn't full fill the promise of the first handful of songs. Though it does improve when the dynamics shift and it builds.

The album returns to the dark grungy tension it excels in on "So Come" . This one benefits from some interesting productions as there is a low frequency that is a gurgling undercurrent. Things turn to a dark indie folk not unlike the kind of creepy corners Chelsea Wolfe hides in on the song "Furious Angel", though it flows very lyrically rather than drags with any kind of doom like under side. The song find it's wing as it progresses and the subtle melodies proves very effective. The lyrics are actually pretty metal in their imagery. "Real Big Sky" closes the album. The guitar has a much rawer production value and creates a juxtaposition to her clear vocal line. This sounds like it could have come off of an album from any of the 90's alt-rock Lilillth Fair divas . It's as hooky as anything Alanis Morrisette might have one at this tempo. While "Heaven" didn't really connect as strongly with me I think the other songs make up for it so I'll give this one a 10 as Rundle continues to shine.

Comes out September 30th on Sargent House.

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