Cast Off Your Human Form
the music of Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s The Gentle Guest made extraordinary by danger. Its 1920′s Delta blues influenced Americana co-exists in a gypsy world of blaring trombones, sadistic slide guitars and a barrage of wild hollers and boot stomps. Singer/songwriter Eric Rykal’s web of folklore is tainted by mischief and the characters in his stories are burdened by moral conundrums wherein the lines between good and evil are not so clear. This album from the roots/retro/punk group has frontman Eric Rykal raging against the light over a bed of melancholy saxophone and bombastic drums. I have no problem saying that this is a great record. It’s not just a great local record, but a great record period. There is a depth and complexity to The Gentle Guest’s sound that has continued to grow with each subsequent release from their first full-length, We Are Bound to Save Some Souls Tonight, to this new release that is astounding. There is a consistency of songwriting, a purity of message that lasts from the first track to the last. Oh, and it’s great to dance to, so there’s that.