It seems like Rich Ragany (The ROLE MODELS) never stops to write songs! On this first solo album, he got some help from musicians who played with The GLITTERATI, UK SUBS, SCOTT SORRY BAND, etc. The album starts very quietly with “To The Sea”, then slowly moves to some very melodic indie pop with “The World” and “Your Distance.” Names like SOUL ASYLUM or The REPLACEMENTS come to mind. Sometimes the hooks are also in the guitar melodies (“Like We’ll Never Make It”, “Lose With Me”, “Heart’s Souvenir”…), which is something you can find in a band like The CURE for instance. While this might sound like an unexpected influence, that shows us that Rich’s songwriting is not only based on one recipe. Even though melancholy is the main mood of this album, you’ll still find some positive energy when listening to these songs, and it’s quite obvious when listening to the STONES influenced “Scotty Thompson” and “Story Highway.”
“Like We’ll Never Make It” is not your typical rock’n’roll/powerpop album, but it is indeed a great collection of songs standing somewhere in between indie pop and Americana. Laurent C.
CYCLOPE ESPION is the project of Thomaxe, you might have read some of his articles/columns in various ‘zines, including ours, or if you’re lucky enough to live in New York City, then you might have seen him play in a rock’n’roll club with his bands, or jamming with local rock’n’rollers. Thomaxe was a French teacher in NYC, but since all things have an end, he’s now back in France.
CYCLOPE ESPION is mostly about his life, and the years he has spent in New York, it is a DIY effort that consists of Thomaxe and producer Nate Kohrs.
Expecting some RAMONES influenced songs would be too easy, CYCLOPE ESPION is a personal project based on experience, life and feelings, so you’ll find many different sounds and colours on this album. “Faux Départ” is a French pop song full of melancholy while “Friday Night Epitath” and “Wishful Thinking” are sad ballads in which vocals sometimes have a bit of JEFFREY LEE PIERCE in them, and although it might not sound like him, NIKKI SUDDEN came to my mind while listening to these songs. Vocals also remind me of French band GUTTERCATS at times, especially in songs like “Snapdragon”and “D.B. Cooper.” Listening to “Mad Love & The Self”, “Indélébile and “Satellite” instantly make you think that this album is a very personal one in which feelings mix with stories in the most sincere way.
“Friday Night Epitath” might not be the easiest album to get into you’ll ever find, but there’s definitely beauty into it. /Laurent C.