RIC GORDON - Despair's Lover

Ric Gordon - Despair's Lover

5 songs
17:04 minutes
***** ***
Russian Winter


This will really be the year of Ric Gordon. Although heís been an active musician for nearly half a century, most people will not have encountered his music. And yet, heís recorded well over a dozen albums and EPs over the decades, and this year started with him re-releasing his debut EP Just Canít Get Enough from 1979. Lately, Ric Gordon sounded more like a street musician, but on that ancient record, he showed how adept he was at garagy post punk in the late Seventies. Maybe this inspired him to return into that direction on Despairís Lover, one of two EPs that will be released this year. The follow-up Standing Here will follow in September, so we can concentrate for now on the five tracks from the current EP.

It all sounds like a home recording, with Ric singing, playing the bass and guitars, and possibly having programmed the drum beats. The production is pleasantly lo-fi, not over-polished and always clear enough to give every instrument its necessary weight. The opener Clearly Now, at four minutes the longest piece on the EP, is a hypnotic song carried by a recurring guitar riff and Ricís slightly nasal but quite emotive voice. In the background, a second guitar plays a discreet melody that furthermore emphasises the songís psychedelic power. The following Suddenly Single is a more straightforward rock song, with a certain proto punk vibe, like the Stooges via a soulful The Jam. Walk Away is yet again a headtrip of a song, and frankly thatís where I like Ric Gordon the most. This song, though only three minutes long, builds a tremendous amount of suspense, enhanced by the discreetly added synthesizers. See How Far You Come is a stomping no wave punk track with a guitar that is cutting right through ears, coming across like a crossover between Suicide and The Cramps. The two minute short concluding Ashes In The Fire is a more melodic piece, maybe a nod into the direction of what to expect from the upcoming EP in September, but alas also not quite fitting in with the other four tracks.

Ric Gordon will be sixty-four this year. When I was young, people retired at that age and didnít play in rock bands. But then rockíníroll wasnít around for that long either. But as the great and late Wesley Willis said: rockíníroll will never die, and neither will those who once caught the bug. Ric Gordon, who by the way also has a PhD in physics researching intelligent computer systems, neurodynamics, climate change and cyber security, probably never had to make a living with his music, and that always allowed him to remain true to himself. The fact that he will release this year alone three EPs shows that he may be old, but definitely not tired. Fans of lo-fi rock with a garage proto-punk flair should definitely plan on getting their copy of Despairís Lover, a refreshing piece of self-made music.

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