GOSPELBEACH: ANOTHER WINTER ALIVE

December 10th, 2018 | Album reviews

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GOSPELBEACH
Another Winter Alive
Alive Naturalsound

Part new studio material and part live cuts, GospelbeacH’s third LP is as much a measurement of the path the L.A. group has carved out as it is a survey of contrasting ways forward. With former Beachwood Sparks sheriff Brent Rademaker at the reins, GospelbeacH has celebrated Los Angeles’ historical canyon country sound for three albums. Both Rademaker and Tom Petty are from Florida, and the fellow Floridian’s spirit hangs over the new material on side A, most pointedly on “Change of Heart.” Petty was a highly percussive singer, often using his vocal syllables like a drum roll, and Rademaker astutely takes his cue from “Hard Promises”-era Petty on the song’s hook, “…then you’ve been talking ‘bout a change of heart / but I know that it’s wasted time.” But the most interesting turn in the new material takes place on songs like “Dreamin’” and “Runnin’ Blind (Winter Version)” where a new influence on Rademaker seems to shine: watertight harmonies and lilting vocals that show more reverence for British melodic bands like Teenage Fanclub than anyone who ever lived on Lookout Mountain. Side B consists of live/mostly acoustic tracks that do a nice job of capturing the pretty Americana songs GospelbeacH have put out into the ether over the last few years, reminding anyone with a trace memory of things come and gone that the ghosts in this town wear flared jeans and flowers in their hair.

—Kegan Pierce Simons