Paul Tompkins Review of Lullabies In An Ancient Tongue

Paul Tompkins 

July 26, 2021 · 

Sweet! My copy of Gerard Smith's Lullabies in an Ancient Tongue arrived. Modern day Pagan Celtic Grarage Rock/Metal from the outskirts of Detroit? Yes, please. 

No, this is not the Gerard Smith from TV On The Radio who sadly died in 2011, this is the Gerard Smith of Bill Grogan's Goat and this is his Covid Crisis album of stuff he had to get out of his head, but wouldn't quite work with his actual band. 

By most definitions this is Prog, and i don't have a rebuttal other than Celtic Garage Prog. It's also the first time i actually chose albums on purpose. You might not care, but reviewing U2 yesterday wasn't a happy coincidence and that feels suspiciously like lying in the bowels of the cockles of my heart. Luckily, it worked, because it turns out that Bono and the Edge didn't give a crap about Irish music until Bob Dylan asked them "you do know what i do is just the modern American version of Irish balladry, right?" 

Critics have nailed one thing about Gerard, and that's how refreshing it is to hear the old-school Prog influence not sung quasi-castrato. I'm not saying all you hyper-tenors can't sing Prog anymore, i'm just reiterating that Baritones and Basses can also sing whatever the hell you like. 

There's a monster in my guts trying to claw his way out...that's when it's time to remember to breathe. The point of that songs is do the opposite of whatever is making you miserable. Good advise, that. 

Now, you're all listening to it and thinking "Bottle, this is a 'random crap' album, but i thought you hated those." 

No, sorry, you're wrong. I hate good album concepts that turn out to be random crap. This is supposed to be random crap. Did you skip my second paragraph and forget the title of the album? It's his third solo album of songs he wrote while he was stuck at home trying not to test out the ventilators at his locally mismanaged hospital. There are crickets chirping and a violin solo in the middle of track 4. 

Here's a guy who knows how to play whatever he wants to play and i for one love it. I guess if i have to criticize something, the vocals are a little too far forward. Who cares? This is pure fun, i love it.

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