River Rouge
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River Rouge

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Rock Americana




"Reigndance - Problem Factory"

"Not unlike a Metallic Springsteen" - CREEM Magazine

"River Rouge "A Compelling Début""

Although the presence of banjo and fiddle on opening track Speak of the Devil are mainstays of the traditional string band, the didgeridoo and brooding rhythmic thrum reminiscent of Sam Beam's darker songs mark the album out as something more radical. It is an utterly arresting introduction and its eruption into a counterpoint chorus of Ring a Ring o' Roses at the climax is inspired. One wonders if such a standard can be maintained and it certainly is. The first three tracks all revel in the same menacing atmosphere. It has hints of Gothic Americana but with so much more energy than that sub-genre can usually muster.

This is not to say, however, that this mood dominates the album. Songs such as the punningly titled bluegrass homage Ms. Anne Thrope or the dobro driven Something Blue are thoroughly ebullient, and the only misstep in this regard is the title track which comes across as trying too hard. That is not to say that any of the tracks, regardless of their atmosphere, are anything other than propulsive. River Rouge display an intuitive understanding of groove which lends all the songs a thoroughly infectious quality which does not falter at any point during the album.

Central to this is the strength of Andre Comeau as a songwriter, so adept at crafting memorable melodies. Equal critical is his ability to cram in lyrics, giving even the less vigorous songs a hypnotic flow and rhythm which quickly gets a grip on you and refuses to let go. Comeau can sometimes be bland as a vocalist but the material he sings more than compensates for this. Meanwhile, the songs are magnificently augmented by the rest of the band, with imaginative arrangements and production. It all conspires to make Dark Horse Running a remarkably assured and dynamic introduction.

Date review added: Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Reviewer: Kai Roberts
Reviewers Rating: 8 out of 10 - Kai Roberts - Americana UK


Still working on that hot first release.



Gritty folk music, swampy bluegrass, and a back-to-the-basic ribaldness of 70’s pub rock, River Rouge is the musical stratagem of singer-songwriter/guitarist Andre Comeau.