Castles in Spain – Again (CD)

Castles in Spain play a style of rock that often goes toward the goth side of things. This means that songs like “My Nerves” will remind listeners of acts like Siouxsie and the Banshees as well as early Sarah McLachlan and Natalie Merchant.

The sedate strains of guitars and drums during the title track again bring Castles in Spain to a place that blends goth music with early-nineties alternative. The tracks go by almost as quickly as a heart beat; even when a song like “Again” goes on for eight minutes, the fact that Castles in Spain can link together lines and arrangements so successfully shows that they are a mature act. The entirety of “Again” is solid, with Castles in Spain creating a style of music that has not been heard in popular circles for years. The fact that they can blend goth and indie rock so well will draw listeners by the barrelful into their corner. The lead singer, Biachi, has a set of vocals that should remind listeners of a Stevie Nicks. The production of the instrumental segment of the disc is perfect; it allows the band to shine without dominating Biachi’s vocals.

Rather, they provide a nice compliment to Biachi’s vocals, highlighting them when need be. The vocals are a focal point of Castle in Spain’s music on “Again”, but this is not to say that the instruments present do not get their own moment in the sun. During tracks like “You’re Not Forgotten”, Castles in Spain allow Biachi to disappear from eir vocal duties and focus on the instrumental efforts of the band. This instrumentally-heavy style continues during “Tribalicious”, a track that sounds (obviously) tribal, and would work perfectly as a backdrop for the next Stomp-type musical to take over Broadway. Castles in Spain have songs that would appeal to a wider audience, but at no point do the tracks on “Again” feel as if they are pandering to individuals only to guarantee Castles in Spain a larger audience. “Again” is a disc that blasts past the 40-45 minute mark that many other discs stick to, while never feeling as if the act is merely adding tracks just to stick around longer. There are not many individuals that know about the band at this juncture, but I am confident that the act will gain a few listeners when the right individuals find out about the act.

Top Tracks: Dreary Dazy, You’re Not Forgotten

Rating: 6.9/10

Castles in Spain – Again / 2005 Self / 12 Tracks / http://www.castlesinspain.com / Reviewed 23 July 2006

[JMcQ]

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