Release Date: Jan 28, 2012
Record label: Chemikal Underground Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
I'll be honest, right now I'm reviewing this album a bit drunk. And it's utterly destroying me. For the past month I've enjoyed putting on No Selfish Heart every day on my commute. I'm a bit old fashioned in that I think a record needs multiple plays and situations to be worked out, so I've tested it out on everything from packed tubes to lonely walks home in the snow.
The Phantom Band, the Scottish outfit that singer Rick Anthony is best known for, are not exactly acknowledged for their directness. Their songs can take time to get going and, when they do, there’s always so many musical ideas in them that it can be hard to keep up. But the pay-off is always immensely satisfying. Given all that, the contents of Anthony’s first solo album, under the moniker of Rick Redbeard, will surprise many.
"Standing at the foot of the bed, wearing just my beard and a smile" Let us dwell upon that vision awhile. Before us is Rick Anthony – crooning blackcoat with Scottische Pop druids The Phantom Band; herein stripped to skin and bone with only his (red) beard to protect him. Said beard is rubicund enough to cast autumnal light across his bruised folk; shadowy enough to invoke the Scottish Highlands and Southern Gothic; mature enough to straddle aeons.