Local Record Review: 'This One's for Terminal Boredom' by Roman Candles

Local Record Review: 'This One's for Terminal Boredom' by Roman Candles
Somewhere up in Yorba Linda, a cassette scene based around releases and associated blogs and shows continues along, not quite under the radar but perhaps just off in its own universe.  (Don't look for an online version of this -- there are fifty copies and that's it.)  Christopher Gordon, main man of Roman Candles, continues his own particular path with his latest offering, seven short songs recorded on his own over the past summer -- though a line like 

"You can see the fireworks/from the happiest place on earth" takes on an unexpected resonance after this past week's anger and outrage in Anaheim.

This One's For Terminal Boredom

never hides the heart on its sleeve, but that's been the goal of Gordon's music from the start, already looking back on everything with nostalgia and nervous reflection even if it's just no longer being an undergrad. That Roman Candles here follow in the footsteps of early

Mountain Goats


Bright Eyes

-- quick guitar playing, wounded feelings, direct-to-boombox aesthetics -- is clear enough. With the liner notes indicating that the songs were recorded during a depressive stretch, one could almost whisper the word 'emo' -- at least in a late '90s sense. When he's at his most strained and strident, Gordon's voice is a love it or hate it deal much like his forebears were, with the all a capella "Pancake Mountain" providing the initial taste test for any listener. 

"Spring Afternoon," with its barely there arrangement, finds him finding just enough of a calm balance between his wayward impulses. At one point, he calmly sings "I want to star in an airplane movie/That only gets played in the sky." It's the kind of image that shows there's a little something there that is still in the process of coming into its own. 

Roman Candles will be playing Friday night in Los Angeles at the Tribal Cafe starting at 7:30 pm.

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