Release Date: Mar 25, 2014
Record label: Side One Dummy
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Country-Rock, Roots Rock
I've always believed that you can measure the quality of an album by how many different things you think about that album being a potential soundtrack to. "I can't wait to listen to this while I'm driving. " "I'm definitely gonna throw this on when I'm fixing up the porch.
Chuck Ragan seems to be finally figuring out how to blend his past into the direction he has been heading. The former frontman of the post-hardcore outfit Hot Water Music has released — including this one — four studio albums since going solo, but, while all being promising, they’ve all had something awkward about them. Mostly, they sounded exactly like what they were: an experienced punk rocker trying to force Americana.
Since 2007's Los Feliz, singer/songwriter Chuck Ragan has established a reputation for delivering intimate, lonesome tunes as a primarily acoustic troubadour -- even when backed by a band. Till Midnight is a rock & roll changeup. Here the singer/songwriter is backed by his longstanding backing group, the Camaraderie. He also gets some help from producer Christopher Thorn, Rami Jaffee, and a handful of backing vocalists.
Chuck RaganTill Midnight(SideOneDummy)3.5 out of 5 starsStream the album Chuck Ragan spent more than a decade as the frontman of Gainesville post-hardcore outfit Hot Water Music, unleashing his emotionally charged bark alongside fellow vocalist Chris Wollard against a jagged punk rock backdrop. But even during the band’s most intense hours — like 1997’s Fuel For The Hate Game — Ragan has always harbored a gritty soulfulness that sounded as if it could have translated to earthier and more traditional rock songs. And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t; punk is just rock ‘n’ roll played louder and faster when you get down to it.
Chuck Ragan’s very much a singer-songwriter where what you see is what you get. The gravel-throated Hot Water Music frontman has been forging a career as a forthright, heart on his sleeve solo artist for the best part of a decade and on fourth full length ‘Till Midnight’ Ragan doesn’t stray far from that same path. On opening track ‘Something May Catch Fire’ Ragan’s at his gruff voiced, sing-along best.