Friday, December 23, 2011

Ralph Atkinson - Down In The Dungeon

Hear The Track Here

As the old saying goes, better late than never. Except, it would seem, when it comes to Halloween compo entries. Readers will already know that I have reviewed several of the entries into the 2011 CC Halloween Contest and Ralph, one hopes, is here to supply the last of them. See I think my problem is that I have a thing (yes, another!) about 'seasonal' music. Although it does go some way towards describing said music, to me there is always an element of ewwww attached to it. Mind you, the other tracks I have reviewed have lived up to their billing, being scary and musically challenging at the same time; the whole point of these compos IMHO. Nothing, as far as I can see, is beyond Ralph Atkinson - even Halloween tunes but - dear God - I really hope this is the last of them....

and don't even get me started on Christmas music. (Ed: no please don't, it's messy)

For me there are a couple of things that instantly conjure up the darker side of the musical street: one is down and dirty blues, and the other is rock; hard, hot and relentless in its singleminded intention to drive you crazy. One musician, for me, did it better than anyone else although he wasn't really a blues musician. I speak of the Mother of all invention: Frank Zappa. This all stems from the influences I feel at work in this excellent, if way offbeat, slice of something or other. After I got over the rather surprising vocal, then picked myself off the floor after the riff fest the track turned into, all I could do was shake my head in wonder. How is it, I thought, that this guy nails it every time? Even, it would seem, emulating one of the all time greats to absolute perfection.

Hold on there hoss, hold on... Wasn't I just spitting out my dummy in a hissy fit because I had to review a piece of 'seasonal' music? Yeah, there's generational musical taste too and that is what saves this track from the Halloween night of the long knives. To be sure it has it's obligatory horror feel, mainly because of the vocal but also the variety and variation of the musical movements (Ed: progressions Gilmore, Only you could make music sound like a bowel joke) dug their section of the grave as well. Put it all together and you have a track that ascends any notion of season or time, a track that you will play again and again - probably every Halloween for sure - and that means a lot. Anyone with even a passing interest in musical history really has to hear this for the evocation of an era.

Highly Recommended Halloween and a MUST HAVE (for fangs)? See what I did there??

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