By Kira Grunenberg | Published June 2022
On its latest release for Ropeadope, Bright Dog Red remains committed to blending a potpourri of styles, while presenting a sonic personality and conceptual direction that’s focused in sound and narrative intent. This is largely due to drummer Joe Pignato’s vision for the album’s assembly. Donning a producer’s hat during recording, Pignato discerned Under The Porch’s arrangements through decisions based around the artistry of Bright Dog Red’s members and which parts and whose personal musical style would best complement the creative path of developing tracks.
The genesis of said paths were rooted in improvised drum tracks passed to bassists Anthony Berman, Tyreek Jackson, and newest Bright Dog Red member, Tim Lefebvre, before undergoing transformation via more musical layers. Collectively, the album alternates between intricate instrumental tracks bursting with tonal effects and tracks propelled by gripping narratives of sociopolitical struggle. Matt Coonan’s assertive freestyling and shrewd vocal punctuation on “Trickle Down,” for example, ensures the impact of unflinching lyrics (“It all just trickles down, down, down/ That’s what they told the poor man.”) This oscillation can feel emotionally erratic. However, the band tempers that with a whimsical breadth of sounds, like the cosmic radar beeps on “You To Be,” nimble and carefree jazz flute on “Peach Tea” and the exasperation on “Away For Breaks.”
Under The Porch: Under The Porch; On The Avenue; Trickle Down; Away For Breaks; Pardon Me; Let The Song Play; You To Be; Peach Tea; Cardinal; Drowning; Matter You Can’t Feel; Time To Rest. (64:30)
Personnel: Joe Pignato, drums, percussion; Tim Lefebvre, electric bass (2, 4, 7, 10); Tyreek Jackson, guitar, electric bass (1, 3, 5, 12); Anthony Berman, acoustic bass (6, 8, 9, 11); Eric Person, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, flute, effects; Mike LaBombard, tenor saxophone, effects; Cody Davies, sounds; Matt Coonan, poetry, freestyling, voice.
Ordering Info: ropeadope.com