High Castle - Spirit Of The West LP$8.95
Spirit of the West
includes 11"x17" poster/lyric sheet
First album from Bay Area power trio embraces its inner punk beast, wrestling it into submission and teaching it new tricks. Lyric writing dominated by guitarist and visual artist Erin Allen (Child Pornography, Work) points to an evolution of sorts, retaining the muscularity of their first EP "You're On Your Own Way" but cleaned up and presented as a whole thematic body.
Carving out autonomy in the midst of wasteland squalor, High Castle knows your plight. Paranoia and bad attitude permeate the record, carpooling to the riots while their peers choose to crisp themselves on corporate beach towels. The black circular saw on the cover speaks for the content within, a destiny manifested tooth by jagged tooth. High Castle eschews lectures and overt philosophy talk, but naming themselves after a Phillip K Dick novel lets you know where they're coming from.
"Crustaceans Demise" and "We Were Lovers" are ballads for a postapocalyptic affair gone awry, thrones usurped and food pyramids collapsed. Bassist Wilson Drozdowski (Duchesses, Woman's Worth) and powerhouse drummer Shaggy Denton (Hips, Sunny Reaper) also contribute vocals, a secret weapon that comes to the fore on "Innocence."
Though Allen insists "punk is not a virtue," there are sprinklings of Minutemen and Wire in the DNA, although their contemporaries might be Shearing Pinx and Cacaw.
Eleven songs tracked by Jacob Felix Heule (Ettrick, Barn Owl) at New, Improved Recordings in Oakland, CA mixed by Heule and the band. The back cover features a painting by the art-collab "Club Paint" (Erin Allen, Keith Boadwee and Isaac Gray).
1. Swamp Thing
3. We Were Lovers
4. Bee Medal
5. Crustaceans Demise
6. After God
7. Farewell To Limbs
8. Half Mass
9. Son Of A Sinner
10. All Ages Nightmare
11. Super Gu
High Castle's "Bee Medal". From their full length album "Spirit of the West" out on Zum Recordings.
Directed and Edited by Shaggy Denton, drummer of High Castle.