Solid Summer Album
A lot can happen in the span of thirty years. For the rock band The Black Watch, that means writing, recording and releasing a total of 16 full-length albums, including their latest LP, The Gospel According to John.
John Andrew Fredrick formed the band in the late ’80s and, since then, has continued to release multi-layered music, offering a laid-back experience that features some impressive guitar work. The Gospel According to John opens with “Whence,” kicking off the album with an easy listen. The track also contains the aforementioned, technical guitar work for which The Black Watch have become known, helping to leave a lasting impression on the listener. It serves as an impressive start to the album, setting things off on a strong note.
The following track, “Way Strange World,” starts with a fun beat that is sure to hook listeners and maybe even get them to tap their toes along with the music. The Black Watch find the perfect balance between airy, filler guitars and complex, lead guitar riffs in this song, making for one of the LP’s more enjoyable offerings.
As The Gospel develops, it becomes clear that The Black Watch operate best when using upbeat tempos, rather than the slower vibe offered in “A Story.” However, there is no track that could be picked out as being a true weak link of the album.
The rest of The Gospel lives up to the expectations set by the first track. “Jealously” brings a slight ’90s Smashing Pumpkins sound to the table and “Orange Kicks” offers an instrumentally pleasing track. Finally, the album wraps up with a track titled “Satellite,” which showcases Fredrick’s vocals in a different way and embodies some more specific and unique details within Fredrick’s guitar work.
Overall, The Gospel According to John is a nice addition to the growing list of music that has been released this summer; it shouldn’t be overlooked.