RIC GORDON - Busking Out

Ric Gordon - Busking Out

6 songs
19:13 minutes
***** **
Russian Winter


Usually Ric Gordon is the mastermind behind Kansas City based indie record label Russian Winter. But from time to time, he loves grabbing one of his guitars and record some of his own music. He did so already back in 2012 and 2013 when he released two albums under the name Prevrat. On Busking Out, he decided to use his birth name, as the music has an even more intimate feeling.

Busking is a slang term for street performance, and according to Ric Gordon, this is how the idea of Busking Out started: from playing live on street corners. The EP is subdivided into two parts. The first three songs are entirely new and show material which must have honed during countless performances in the outside. The opener The Death Of Queen Jane is an old English ballad from the 19th century and is played solely on acoustic guitar. The following You Always Stayed has a slightly more electric feel, even though the acoustic guitar is still the main driving force. This song has kind of a hypnotic feeling, and combined with the insistent vocal performance, there comes a certain parallel to The Who. Never Wanted You comes with a little richer orchestration and feels like an honest indie rock ballad.

The second half of the EP reprises three tracks from the Prevrat albums, albeit in re-recorded leaner versions. Even though I didnít know that when listening to the album, the different vibe was unmistakable from the start. Prevrat combines the lo-fi indie singer/songwriter sound with Eighties elements like new wave and post punk. Therefore the second half of Busking Out has a darker feeling, with electronic beats and more brooding guitar work.

Frankly I donít see how these new versions improve on the old ones. They have been slimmed down to be more performable in an outside situation, but in the end canít compete with the really excellent first half of the EP. Not only that the first three songs are absolutely stunning, they also manage to build up tension from song to song, starting in a nearly medieval context and slowly yet certainly moving from singer/songwriter territory to fully fledged indie rock balladry. I hope that Ric Gordon will come up with more such great material that in the end feels more invigorating than his more brooding earlier solo material.

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