Monday, June 26, 2017
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: RODNEY DECROO - OLD TENEMENT MAN
Poet and playwrite as well, Vancouver's DeCroo knows lots about creating vivid characters with complex stories, and getting them out in dramatic fashion. On his latest album, those songs burn with added intensity thanks to tightly wound but very catchy melodies. He and producer Lorrie Matheson have turned these into compelling tales no matter the darkness inside.
Inner demons are featured throughout, some more desperate than others, but all the characters and narrators have something tormenting them. When he sings "I'm thinking of you" in Like Jacob When He Felt The Angel's Touch, that's not a good thing, it's more like "a cold-blooded assassin with names on a list." Even the closest thing to a love song, In The Backrooms of the Romance, with it's chipper backing vocals and happy organ is negative, the bookstore where they met not there anymore, and there are hardly any bookstores anymore.
The track When It's Everything explains there's something deep down that's the root cause for all this unease, "The darkness in the corner of your eyes." DeCroo isn't trafficking in bad things people have inside them, he's trying to name them and expose them, for the better. The haunting and memorable tunes make us want to see that too.