The Shadow Ring City Lights

Release date:
October 6, 2023
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Recorded and self-released by The Shadow Ring's own Dry Leaf Discs in 1993, City Lights is the debut record of the then duo Graham Lambkin and Darren Harris-an assured arrival statement teeming with stripling angst and ambition. On a recently-acquired secondhand guitar, Lambkin plays repetitive, brooding licks that form the record's backbone, weaving in and out of sync with Harris's free-form percussion and the pair's sing-song poetry. Tracks range from unraveling nursery-rhyme ditties to extended jams awash with Casiotone and toy piano noodling. The duo's musical hobby-horses work themselves in: the influence of Mark E. Smith's breathless deadpan, the headless outer-edges of ESP-Disk's back catalog, the eerie atmospherics of Hirsche Nicht Aufs Sofa, and the deconstructed rock tunes of the Dunedin scene are all detectable, although there is a sui generis quality to the Shadow Ring's artless temerity. "I've got to see and taste those city lights," intones Lambkin on the album's title track-indeed, this is a record of naked drive and pent-up desperation, and a shimmering glimpse of what's to come.

  • 1. Double Standard
  • 2. City Lights
  • 3. Oooh Ahh
  • 4. Cape of Seaweed
  • 5. Lyin' Eyes
  • 6. Cold Coffee
  • 7. Here Come the Candles
  • 8. Faithful Calls
  • 9. White Eyes
  • 10. The Visitor
  • 11. Snowbirds of Alkatraz

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