CD Review – Cold Satellite “Cavalcade”
Jeffrey Foucalt says this Cold Satellite outing reflects his introduction to rock and roll courtesy of Little Richard. But this ain’t no a-wop-bappa-loo-bop-a lop-bam-boom festival. It’s more of a countryfied version of a Faces/Stones collaboration. The parents are poet Lisa Olstein and singer songwriter Foucalt, who got a lot of favorable critical attention for his ’11 solo project, the folky/country, pedal steel-laden Horse Latitudes.
Cavalcade is more rocky and twangy than its predecessor. There’s a dash of Exile-era Stones with “Elsewhere.” Clocking in at two and a half minutes, it’s a clanging, slippery janglefest with snippets of “Tumblin’ Dice” and “All Down the Line” spliced in.
“Tangled Lullaby” sounds like a Steve Earle offering, vocally and stylistically, with the sinister demeanor of Earle’s “Copperhead Road” but packing a more powerful guitar-driven punch.
The collaboration between poet Olsen and Foucalt often makes for some interesting configurations. On their first project together, 2010’s Jeffery Foucalt: Cold Satellite, Olsen just sent Foucalt snippets of unfinished, unpublished poems and he set the shards to music. This time out, he had fleshed out lyrics to work with, but apparently didn’t ask too many questions about the meaning of the lyrics. So at times, the carpet doesn’t always match the drapes.
Although “Silver Whips” sounds like it should be a kinky ode to flagellation, in its original poetic format it was a quiet, introspective look at equine behavior in a hailstorm. But with Foucalt and his wire choir shrieking like the demons hurling the hail in the finished version, it takes on a darker demeanor as well as being an ear canal shattering experience.
“Necessary Monsters” seems to be another tale about horses, dodging bullets this time around, pursued by Keith Richards channeling John Lee Hooker’s “Endless Boogie” through a Stones filter. But when Focault finally got around to asking Olsen about the song’s meaning, she told him it was about being pregnant.
The Stonesy-flavored title cut has Foucalt mimicking Jagger impersonating John Prine.
It’s an odd offering, but there’s something or a bunch of somethings in here that snags your ears each time it rattles by. Sling a leg over it and take it out for a test gallop. It may not be the gentlest horse in the barn, but it’s certainly the most interesting ride.