Redeye Caravan – Snake Oil & Lullabies EP
Release Date: 20/07/23
Running Time: 17:39
Review by Laura Barnes
Welcome to the funfair where the clowns drink whiskey and the elephants have fangs. Skeletons ride the merry-go-round, and the fortune teller has eyes of stone. Greek band Redeye Caravan have brought their circus right into the centre of town with their latest EP “Snake Oil & Lullabies”, and it seems they’re here to stay.
Personally, I think country music is at its best when it gazes upon the darker things in life. Throughout “Snake Oil & Lullabies”, Redeye Caravan don’t just look into the abyss – they laugh at it. Opening track ‘The Circus’ is a truly unforgettable track, one that must be heard to be believed. Valantis Dafkos, the vocalist for this track, transforms into a sneering ringmaster as he laughs, whistles and snarls his way through the guitars and banjos that whirl around him. The track moves like a twisted Disney Villain song, silly, sinister, and camp. It’s like it was written just for me.
Don’t get the wrong idea, though: Redeye Caravan aren’t just here to party. In an unusual move, Redeye Caravan share the vocal duties on the album, and ‘Cardinal Sin’ sees Panos Makoulis take the reins. ‘Cardinal Sin’ is the dark twin of ‘The Circus’, and slide guitars and Catholic guilt are the order of the day here. Imagine a bounty hunter steeling himself for his next kill, blessing himself with holy water as he asks for penance for what he’s about to do. That’s ‘Cardinal Sin’, and it fucking rules.
The rest of the vocals on this EP are provided by Akis Kosmidis, including the concluding track ‘The Town’. This track is a huge barrel of fun, complete with a violin interlude, backing vocals, and chilling storytelling. It is a song that grows larger and larger with each passing second, looming and dancing simultaneously. Each instrumental layer is a thrilling demonstration of Redeye Caravan’s musical skill, and no matter how many times you listen, you’re bound to discover hidden musical passages throughout.
“Snake Oil and Lullabies” is a songwriting masterclass. Capturing both the freedom and terror that comes with living in a large expanse of nature, this EP occupies a unique emotional space. It is music that is constantly on the move, and the rotation of band members providing the vocals provides an extra innoculation against stagnancy. Pairing well with dark country titans like Dee Calhoun and Poor Man’s Poison, Redeye Caravan have crafted a sound that is imaginative, original, and completely stunning. It earns a shit-eating grin and a 10/10 from me!
‘The Circus’ Official Lyric Video
01. The Circus
02. Slow Trains Are Never Late
03. Cardinal Sin
04. The Town
Akis Kosmidis – Vocals, Guitars, Banjo
Valantis Dafkos – Vocals, Bass
Panos Makoulis – Vocals, Guitars, Keys, Percussion
Eleni Paraskevopoulou – Vocals
Stefanos Strogylis – Harmonica
Thanos Giamarelos – Violin
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