Sassparilla is set to release their double cd, Pasajero/Hullabaloo, on June 17, but you can hear it, streaming in it’s entirety right now, at Consequence of Sound!
Pasajero was recorded in the Portland studio of Eels’ own Chet Lyster. Here, Blackwell says he attempted to “put a pulp novel to music,” adding “I didn’t want to force-feed the plot to people. I wanted them to make up their own story based on their interpretation of the metaphors.” To that aim, Blackwell made the dense consumable by presenting it via a wide swathe of Sassparilla’s influences. There’s the Door-esque psych jams like “Peaches” and “When You’re The Devil”; the sweet and sedative blues ballad “Cool Thing”; the sax-powered arena rock anthem “Overture”; and the album ending folk-pop ballad “Radio Child”, which wraps things up in a haze of romanticism.
The one common denominator of each song, though, is their studio luster and the balance of darker subject matter with shimmery and extravagant soundscapes.
Meanwhile, Blackwell moved out of the studio and into his own attic to record Hullabaloo. Here, the band delivers a crash course of their live show, which includes lots of group shouting, sweaty beards, and a slightly improvisational nature. There’s the Howlin’ Wolk-inspired blues-rock barnburner entitled Through The Fence”; “It Ain’t Easy”, which can only be described as gospel-on-acid; the hook-heavy ragtime jam “Cocaine”; the pure punk of “Why You Making It Hard”; and “The Hoot Song”, which Blackwell co-wrote and performed alongside his twin two-year-old sons. “I find whenever I’m stressed, tired, angry…a good hoot gets me back in line,” he said. “Kids: so much more wise than we are.”