Posts Tagged ‘Joe Bisirri’

Stardust Birthday Party

Leaving his well-mannered past as a roots rocker behind, Ron Gallo showed off a lean-and-mean sound and a lyrical style full of snarky wit on 2017’s Heavy Meta, and he’s dug in deeper with his second album from his eponymous band. 2018’s Stardust Birthday Party is dominated by no-frills melodies rooted in Gallo’s sharp, choppy guitar figures and the taut, efficient rhythms of bassist Joe Bisirri and drummer Dylan Sevey, which isn’t that far off from the formula on Heavy Meta. But this time out, the angles in these songs are a good deal sharper, and there’s a willful eccentricity to the keyboard overdubs and an eagerness to mess with the vocal and instrumental sounds that makes this album sound less organic and more exploratory than the debut. And if the thank yous to Alan Watts, Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, and J. Krishnamurti in the liner notes didn’t tip you off,

Stardust Birthday Party finds Gallo examining his own neuroses and looking for spiritual and philosophical truths as he bashes away at his electric guitar. While Gallo clearly isn’t above letting the funny side of his journey show on occasion, the tone of Stardust Birthday Party is ultimately serious and often urgent, and Gallo sounds ferocious as he charges through numbers like “Do You Love Your Company?” and “Party Tumor.” Unlike most musicians who are looking for the answers to life’s larger questions, Gallo isn’t interested in navel gazing so much as breaking through to the other side in the here and now, and while not everything he has to say sounds like he knows where he’s headed, he makes the search sound vital and compelling. Stardust Birthday Party is not always what one would have expected from Ron Gallo on the basis of his previous work, and for the most part that works in its favor; this is passionate and exciting music, thoughtful but never staid, and it shows Gallo to be an artist with some surprises up his sleeve.

‘Stardust Birthday Party,’ available October 5th

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