Angel Air Records (label)
12 January 2015 (released)
13 January 2015
With a sleeve artwork harking back to Victorian sideshows, and a quote by none other than Clive Barker opening the sleeve notes, Red Jasper’s new album gives a fair indication of what the album holds in store.
A strong visual image is matched by David Clifford’s powerful vocals, the accompanying music a fine blend of mystic-hued and folk-infused power rock – with a generous sprinkle of jazzy sax on ‘The Time Is Right’. Particularly uplifting (or trippy if you prefer) is the track’s lengthy instrumental solo – all harmonious horn arrangements spiked with contrasting edgy riff work.
‘Ray Of Darkness’ is a powerfully crafted rock ballad, and the line “Every minute it gets harder to unlock the door” suggests a reflective mode about the path of life and the way we try to control our destiny but ultimately fail. There is something almost choral about the refrain but thankfully not bordering on the pretentiously pompous.
We enter darker notes and heavier riffs on ‘Bonds Beyond Reason’ – a wicket duet affair courtesy of David and Soheila Clifford make this a standout track. A very dramatic and theatrical mood runs unashamedly through the composition, and works incredibly well.
More insightful lyrics prevail on ‘Living The Life’ though ‘La Vida Loca’ it is not. Judging by the overall sound, composer and keyboardist Lloyd George favours a walk on the wild side… with razorblades protruding from the pavements…
As for the epic title song, yes, the circus macabre has come to town - with a promise to kill off the clown and with unique acts for everyone! Musically, the songs blow across various sonic realms and we’re talking quite a vintage sound here, with echoes of Jethro Tull and Dutch prog-rockers Focus.
Feel free to enter – come and see the hanging, come and hear the music!