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They call their music "happy-choly," yet on their third official album the duo of Seth Rothschild and Steve Tagliere -- aka Gingersol -- sound like, at least emotionally, the train wreck is not yet entirely behind them, to paraphrase their last album title. "For better or worse should mean there's better" moans Tagliere on "I Did," a song about the crumbling of his marriage. But although these songs are led by cracked, aching vocals similar to Paul Westerberg on his quieter Replacements tunes, there is an indomitable grandeur about them. It makes this Gingersol's most expansive and personal release. Echoes of the Folk Implosion, the Pernice Brothers, Wilco, and even Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles flitter through these tracks. There isn't a lot of diversity in the disc's midtempo, introspective music, but Eastern resonates as an intelligent, intense, and cohesive work. Simply strummed guitars propel most of the songs, with the largely overdubbed drums, keyboards, backing vocals, and even backwards electric guitar on "A Great Day for War" adding drama without sounding pretentious or overbearing. Tagliere's hoarsely moving vocals make it seem like he's singing to himself and we're spying on his innermost thoughts. That makes for emotionally stirring yet wordy ruminations that take some time and repeated spins to sink in melodically, but eventually resonate in memorable melodies. "Please Let Me Go," with its unabashed sorrow and flute-styled synths, sounds like Paul McCartney singing "Fool on the Hill," a haunting and beautiful example of Gingersol at their most expressive. The instrumentation shifts from stark to lush as the tunes build and release tension like an epic movie. After it's over, listeners are likely to feel as if they have lived with the duo for the past few years, proof of the band's honesty and integrity as well as Eastern's impact.
Performance CreditsGingersol Primary Artist
Rami Jaffee Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards
Drew Glackin Bass,Lap Steel Guitar,Hi String
Seth Rothschild Synthesizer,Banjo,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Vocals,Loops
Steve Tagliere Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Bass Guitar,Vocals
Malcolm Cross Drums,Tambourine,Vocals
Simon Petty Vocals
Sid Jordan Bass
Konrad Meissner Drums
Simon Petty Vocals
Technical CreditsBob Salcedo Engineer
Seth Rothschild Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Ginny Pitchford Cover Photo