Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward - The Apology: Part 1

I love being surprised when good artists announce a new record release for the immediate future, rather than going through the whole process of announcing records 6 months or more in advance. We've been hearing about a new Arcade Fire for over a year, and now that it's out I haven't even listened to it yet. The new EP from Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward I found out about earlier today and I've listened to it about 3 times through already.

What I gather from the internets is that Parker & 50 Peso decided to release their new material in a series of EPs rather than wait to assemble a full LP, and thus, The Apology: Part 1 is the first installment in that process. For the time being at least, you can stream the entire EP at, although I expect that won't be the case forever. My first impressions are that the band has assembled a very solid and well-produced 5-song set.

The lead-off track, "Guitars" sets the tone for the entire EP, as the crunchy guitars lay a solid common groundwork for all of the songs. I don't wish to pigeonhole this band per se, but if forced to give it a label, I might say the sound on this record was a bit like a project from Robert Earl Keen and the E Street Band. "River Song" and "Megaphone" stand out immediately as favorites of mine, although there is not a weak song on the record. The album also draws upon a past strength of 50 Peso Reward, which is the diversity of drum sounds and rhythms - something that puts them head and shoulders above many other Texas acts.

In short, the 5 songs are a much appreciated addition to an already outstanding catalog for RP & 50PR, and the anticipation for the second installment can begin now as far as I'm concerned. More importantly, this release is needed to keep the band at the forefront of the Texas music scene, a scene which at times settles for clich├ęd and dull music, two characterizations that in no way describe Parker & 50 Peso. Rather, this is a band that deserves far more attention than many of the acts that dominate the airwaves, so please give them a listen and spread the word.

West Texas folks can catch Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward two times in September:

Friday, Sept. 24 - The Blue Light - Lubbock, TX
Saturday, Sept. 25 - The Golden Light - Amarillo, TX

Having just moved to Odessa, I am aware that the band has played Dos Amigos before, although I don't know how well they do at the venue. Hopefully we can expect to see them here in the near future.

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