I was recently contemplating how Rum Bar Records has worked with almost all of my favorite bands of the moment. With Hayley and the Crushers, The Speedways, The Cheap Cassettes, and Brad Marino already on the roster, I joked to myself that the only band missing was Pale Lips. And then, boom, out of the blue Lou announced he was reissuing Pale Lips' second album After Dark on CD! So yeah: my entire top five list of favorite current bands/artists is now in the Rum Bar family! It's no secret that Pale Lips are my favorite band and that After Dark was my favorite album of 2019. I probably don't need to write a whole new review of an album that I've previously praised at length. But here are my bullet points on this newest release of After Dark:
- To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time After Dark has been released on compact disc outside of Japan. And that means that I'm enjoying it on CD for the first time ever. With warm weather in the air, these 12 tracks make for some Grade A car jams!
- I've discovered that I like this album just as much now as I did two years ago -- perhaps even more! I've had it on repeat as I drive around town. The first Pale Lips album Wanna Be Bad is very good. After Dark is great.
- Cooler people than I are huge fans. Rum Bar label mate Brad Marino calls After Dark one his favorite records of the last 10 years and cites it as an influence on his new album (which comes out on CD today, by the way!).
- Ilona Szabo is a rock god. Seriously: if you wanna hear how rock and roll guitar ought to be played, give this album a listen.
- The lyrics on this record are smart, funny, and very worthy of closer inspection.
- My list of favorite tracks has changed (a little). I still consider "I'm A Witch" and "That Old Ghost Don't Lie" to be my top two songs from After Dark, followed by "Cosmic Love". But "All My Baby Brought Back Was The Blues" is gaining on the pack fast. What a delightful and clever song! I'm also way more into "Hanky Panky Franky" than I used to be. And I have to say that "Hiding From the Moon" is one of the true underrated gems from the Pale Lips catalog. Now I better stop before I mention every song on the album!
After Dark is out today on Rum Bar Records. All CD orders come with a fold-out mini-poster while supplies last. You know what to do!