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Spanpsek Album Review: Ralee Drennon - Church Street

Good morning folks!  I hope this day finds you doing well!  Today I write to you from the lovely confines of the Visalia Convention Center, where I'm learning how to prepare for my eventual death!  Life insurance is fun!

With that said, it's time for our next album review.  Introducing the new solo record from Tyrannosaurus Zebra frontman Ralee Drennon!
Ralee Drennon
Church Street

Recorded in 2010 and released seemingly on a whim in May 2014, Church Street is a throwback to 90's era alt-rock from two of the best songwriters ever to come out of the Visalia area.  Drennon and collaborator Brian Fischer (who provided drums and recorded the album) dish out a ramshackle collection of college rock anthems with touches of alt country, punk and even some sleepy folk rock to boot.  It's a drastic yet welcome change from Drennon, a songwriter who's better known for blistering folk punk screeds that never go under 200 beats per minute.  

Album opener "An Apocalypse Song" sets the tone immediately with its easy pace, memorable chorus, and bits of dissonance reminiscent of the best Pavement songs.  It makes the perfect soundtrack for weary souls stuck on Earth during the End Times.  Bookending the EP is "A Death Song", a slumbering ditty with guitar/bass interplay that only comes around twice but is well worth the wait.  And with its bright, meandering lead guitar, "A Death Song" makes the argument that Drennon should bust out ax solos more often.

For Tyrannosaurus Zebra acolytes looking for more of their incendiary folk punk, you may be initially disappointed.  But give the album a couple listens and you'll find yourself experiencing one of the best releases of 2014.  Drennon's gifts as a songwriter are so readily apparent it inspires admiration.  Every song is filled with crunchy goodness and lyrical weight that still manages to be playful.  I don't know why it took so long for Church Street to see the light of day, but I feel damn lucky it finally did.  
For more information on Ralee Drennon, visit his Bandcamp page!  And for more musical goodness, check out Ralee and Brian's other bands!:

Ralee - Tyrannosaurus Zebra
Brian - XY Breakdown PartyGang Nails (who just released their EP EP. Check out certified banger "Cyclops"!)

In other news, we'll be collaborating with Step Up Tulare County for our third annual Community Concert!  It's set for Wednesday June 18th, at the Step Up Youth Center in Orosi, and will feature performances from Macondo, Roach Collection, and Identity Parade (made up of Orosi High students!).  It's free and super fun for the whole family!  For more info visit our Event Page!


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