With the one year anniversary of the dissolution of Thursday upon us, former frontman Geoff Rickly finds himself looking forward to a similarly eventful solo career, having enjoyed an impromptu stint at the Acoustic Basement Stage of Warped Tour. Now, on top of touring with Anthony Green, he has released his first set of new music since Thursday’s breakup.
Simply entitled Mixtape #1, Rickly’s debut solo effort contains seven songs recorded during Hurricane Sandy’s descent upon New York while he was cooped up inside of his apartment. Using a lo-fi approach to the entire recording process, this EP sets itself apart from the modern day tendency to overproduce albums.
Similar to his work with Thursday, Rickly once again seems to draw on literary topics and style for inspiration, stitching his lyrics together like the seams of a poetry collection. The dark and somber atmospheric presence of the album sounds as if Bukowski’s poems were translated into song, conveying the sense of despair not only in his lyrics, but in Rickly’s voice as a whole.
Instrumentally the album almost entirely features a lone clean electric guitar, reminiscent of the more chilling tracks on Thursday’s final release No Devolución. However, Rickly moves away from the more crashing and dynamic aspects of his previous band, stripping everything down to something more like garage rock meets post-punk.
A noticeable trend in the EP is the incorporation of other, non-musical, forms of audio. At multiple instances on the record Rickly inserts short pieces of miscellaneous dialogue and snippets of what sound like electrical surges and a dying radio transmission. This extra audio only adds to the almost dystopic feel of the EP, conjuring up images of a disparaged city covered in the shadow of an overcast sky.
Rickly, in Mixtape #1, once again establishes that he is still one of the best at grasping raw emotion, translating it into moving music, and poetically capturing the human condition.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s up for free download on his site?