"Guiding Light", the new album from Ron S. Peno & The Superstitions
Introducing "Guiding Light", the transcendent third album from Ron S. Peno and the Superstitions. "Guiding Light" follows the critically acclaimed releases "Future Universe" (2011) and "Anywhere and Everything is Bright" (2013) as the purest expression of the band’s sweeping, propulsive chamber rock to date.
In recording these eight stirring journeys into the realms of uncertainty, remorse, restlessness and yearning, Ron S. Peno and the Superstitions brought the passion and grand atmospheres of their renowned live shows into the studio. The result is an album that’s urgent and unabashedly emotional, yet also exquisitely refined. In places it’s a surefire floor-filler, too.
Here, then, is that rarest of things: a record that hits the heart as hard as it hits the hips.
On ‘Over Again,’ Peno sings, “Outside, I’m riddled with doubt.” In here—on "Guiding Light"—he is a man completely in his element. Recorded at Northcote’s Soundpark Studios and mixed and mastered at The Mill by veteran craftsman Andy Stewart, "Guiding Light" finds the band’s incomparable energy and ingenuity coalescing around the finest collection of songs of their career. Crowd galvanisers like ‘Just Like Diamonds’ and ‘Kid Gloves’ are here, along with a blazing cover of Bobby Darin’s ‘Not for Me’.
These are songs that tug and needle at the most essential corners of the soul. Most have been finessed to perfection over the past few years while being performed live to adoring audiences in Australia, France and Spain. And it shows.
“We’re almost there,” Peno sings on the penultimate song. Listeners will beg to differ: with "Guiding Light", Ron S. Peno and the Superstitions have arrived.
(Gerard Elson, September 2017)
released October 5, 2017
Ron S. Peno: vocals
Cam Butler: guitars
Mark Dawson: drums and percussion.
Tim Deane: acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, Solina strings
Andy Papadopoulos: electric bass guitar
Recorded by Andrew 'Idge' Hehir at Soundpark Studios, Northcote
Arranged by Ron S. Peno & The Superstitions
All songs mixed and mastered by Andy Stewart at The Mill
Final layout and artwork by Luke Fraser
Executive producer - Mark Louttit
While it's been a while since The Blackeyed Susans last official release, they've not 'been away'. They're not that kind of band. The Susans, to long term friends like me (not keen on the word 'fan' - yes, you can ask me why some time), seep into your soul and psyche, changing you irrevocably. This release maintains that potency, and possibly captures the Susans at their best.
Rob Snarski's voice remains the most beautiful in this land (probably the world, really), and he captures the mood and intent of Phil's lyrics in a way no other singer can. Phil Kakulas, Kiernan Box, Graeme Lee, Dan Luscombe Mark Dawson, JP Shilo and Matt Habben remain outstanding, and paint a soundscape that is lush, moody and electrifying.
'The Lover Or The Loved' is a beautiful musing on that confounding condition called love, one that recognises the different positions two people can take in a relationship, and how those positions impact people singularly and collectively.
'Yellow Brown and Green' juxtaposes elements of nature with the cycle of life, demonstrating the closeness of both.
'The Good Life Never Ends', a David McComb track featured in the Susans live shows, makes it on here, and it's absolutely perfect. I've always loved David's wry and humorous observations of life, and the Susans capture the mood of this song beautifully.
'Dirty Minds (for a Dirty Age)' is swampy, dirty rock at its best, and is quite revelation! Phil takes the lead, and its dirty, gutsy stuff. Love it.
Thanks for coming back, Susans, but hey, you never went away. Sarah Sparks