Don't Torture Julia
Get yourself some good listening equipment for Archie Carroll because respect is owed when there is an intro track.
The debut album by local band Do it to Julia, Archie Carroll, eats hearts. The opening lyrical track is an acute question for any wavering confidence.
"Wine Line" reminds listeners of the payment made in any romantic interaction, and the track sets the tone for the rest of the album.
There is a sad brokenness that follows and is hard to elude. Although the sound is folk at times and easy rocking at others, the content drips poison honey, a manic depressive exercise that violently thrashes from upbeat to honest breakdowns.
Exercising these emotions are Ryan O'Keefe at vocals, guitar and piano, Halli Anderson at the violin, piano and vocals, Stephen Bush with guitar, Matt Rossino with bass, and Alex McWalters bringing in the drums.
"Ouch" right in the middle of the album displays Do it to Julia's prowess. The lyrics deal with an everywhere sycophantic allure laced with truthful attraction. Love of the game. Their power works in the counter play of a young woman's voice (Anderson) partnered with a young man's (O'Keefe). If anything, this album shares the mindscapes of young lovers, and perhaps, old ones.
Down home, the sound is appropriate for the area of Boone talent. There is a rock mindset, a folk twirl and twist, and a soap pop kink. The rock brings out a soulful expression and, apart from their album, the band members keep people moving throughout their shows.
The group has been touring the East Coast with fervor to make their name. Putting forth a force to succeed in live shows, their artistry shows readily in Archie Carroll.
Some albums share stories with every song. This disc follows the heart of its creators throughout. "Julia," the final track, is in the ether and gives a tense resolution to a strongly sexual course. "Julia" is the track where the rain falls and graces the earth with sound. Although Archie Carroll can press the heart, "Julia" resolves the bittersweet senses that it creates.
The album was released in October 2008 by Split Rail Records. The debut has been slow to the uptake, but this by no means reflects the band's talent. The musical craft exhibited in the debut is keen, and they deserve a fair amount of respect for covering territory too bold for the timid. Their live shows are a blast, and they bring out good crowds. Whether you can clog, swing, square or just convulse, the music they make accommodates.
Pick up Archie Carroll by Do it to Julia at the Appalachian State University Bookstore, and online at http://www.doittojulia.com, Amazon.com or Cdbaby.com, and Payplay.fm. You can catch their next show on Thursday, March 11, in Asheville at 9 p.m. at Mo'Daddy's with Open Windows.