The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
RON POPE CALLING OFF THE DOGS REVIEW 2014

 

RON POPE - CALLING OFF THE DOGS

BROOKLYN BASEMENT RECORDS

FEBRUARY 10 2014

 

 

Ron Pope certainly has a great following out there, especially for an ‘indie’ artist, and a good part of that popularity is surely down to both the quality and consistency of his output. ‘Calling off the Dogs’ is Ron’s 11th release and shows more of the charm and wonderfully gloomy lyrics he has become synonymous with. For Ron you feel it’s all about love and heartbreak and on tracks like the wonderfully early eighties pop of ‘Lick My Wounds’ while the music is refreshingly upbeat, his words are sufficiently downcast to block out the light. That is one of the reasons we like him so much. Nothing is clear, nothing is certain; it’s all a bit like real life really.

 

‘Empty Page’ captures a similar immediacy that you can’t help but fall for before the album dips its pace to deliver a set of vintage gems in ‘Explain’, the vaguely Floydian ‘Silver Spoons’ and ‘Shine’ which are all recognisably Pope and stained in the dull patina of Folk and Americana residues: the songs are among our favourites here and their comfortable musical clothes allow the lyrics to shine through. It’s vintage Ron Pope at his best.  

 

‘Push Me Away’ lifts things slightly and serves up a huge chorus; whilst the balladic duet with Alexz Johnson ‘Nothing’ is so smooth, and its soulful sound belies its jagged lyrical content. We continue to sail smoother sonic waters with ‘Off Your Feet’ and the bleak ‘Back to Bed’ which along with ‘Nothing’ are the low-key masterpieces here.

 

It’s not until the penultimate ‘New Friends’ that we get a  real kick of rock and it makes for a nice crescendo before the final song ‘Blood From a Stone’ which sits as a mark of defiance at the end of a particularly enjoyable if bleak album. It’s one of Pope’s best yet.

 

 

by Mark Diggins

 

RON POPE CALLING OFF THE DOGS REVIEW 2014