Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stream & Read: Sci-Fi Romance - The Ghost Of John Henry

We are excited to have the honor to be able to pre-release stream the new album by Sci-Fi Romance 'The Ghost of John Henry' for your listening pleasure. While you're listening read a review below by guest blogger Matthew Warburton of the blog Screaming at the Wall
The Album release date is May 8th with a CD Release Party May 11th. Pre-order link on iTunes Physical CD pre-order from the band

The Ghost Of John Henry: A Fitting Folklore Tribute
By Matthew Warburton of the blog Screaming at the Wall
Creating a concept album is a very meticulous process that requires a great deal of creative ability. If I could think of one way to describe "The Ghost Of John Henry," it would be complete. Vance Kotrla of Sci-Fi Romance has pursued an ambitious undertaking and has come out the other side with a unexpected but refreshing reunion with a legendary steel driver. John Henry's battle to prove mankind's superiority to technological advancement is motivated by very complex reasons and feelings, a point this album translates very well for the listener.

His pride in humanity drives his unyielding determination to prove the worth and strength of  a beating heart. He has compassion for those he works alongside, as the job is difficult and dangerous, but without it they would not be able to earn enough for the ones that matter most to them. Above all of this, he has a love for those waiting for him back home, and he wants more than anything else to return with his head held high. He knows that the fate of everything he holds dear hinges upon the rise of the technology out to rob him of a future, and you can feel the heat of his rage. For those of you familiar with this iconic figure, his showdown, and his fate, you will find yourself more than pleased with Sci-Fi Romance's interpretation.

You can really feel the passion behind the sounds, the lyrics speak from the echoes of a desperate man fighting against the rise of the modern world. In addition to to the impressive guitar and vocal work coming from Kotrla, this Los Angeles indie-folk band also has Kurt Bloom on drums and Jody Stark on cello, both of whom do an excellent job of complimenting the overall sound that this album was after. Kurt Bloom's style really adds a whole new level of intensity at specific intervals throughout, the ebb and flow of his parts are timed and placed perfectly. Jody Stark's cello pairs extremely well with Vance's guitar and vocals, giving each track that perfect feeling of foreboding sorrow that's so desperately needed to really resonate with the figure that is John Henry. I was immensely impressed with the musical ability of these three, and day by day I am becoming more enthralled with the appeal of it's sound and the clarity of it's message.

By the album's conclusion, there's a bitter-sweet sense of a story that has reached it's end, like a short-lived reunion with someone you hadn't realized you missed. In addition to the cathartic nature of the work as a whole, each track is an individual accomplishment worthy of praise. If you have any sort of ear for indie-folk and you're looking for something that stands out, Sci-Fi Romance's "The Ghost of John Henry" will not disappoint. Sci-Fi Romance is the literary man's indie-folk.
Previously on this Blog: Here  and Here

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