Gingersol

Eastern (Rubric)

The cover photo adorning Gingersol's third full-length opus is a visual pun of sorts. By showing L.A.'s architectural landmark, the Eastern Columbia Building, it hearkens back to the album's title, which literally refers to the fact that band founder and songwriter Steve Tagliere and his musical partner Seth Rothschild left that city and moved eastward. That's where the irony ends. The transition sets a dark tone for these thirteen songs, which document the dissolution of the two's marriages and the unfortunate result of landing in New York just days before 9/11.

Naturally these events have a sobering effect. "Birthday Girl," "Please Let Me Go," and "Rome's Behind Us But the World Is Round" detail severed relationships with a mix of cynicism and sadness. Layering assertive riffs and dissonant guitars beneath the duo's tenuous vocals creates a palatable tension and angst filtered through aggression in crunching, angular rockers such as "I Tried." The anxiety bubbles over in "A Great Day for War," its understated intro spilling into a swelling chorus the same way shock and disbelief erupted in calls for action following the World Trade Center assault.

Ultimately Eastern offers no hint of resolution, no sense of stability. Yet its uncertain tone leads to a daring new approach for this power-pop band.

 
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