Christopher the Conquered and his Black Gold Brass Band – The Fate of a Good Man
Christopher the Conquered and his Black Gold Brass Band lure you into their album The Fate of a Good Man with a musical whisper and secure you with their catchy piano melodies, ridiculously hummable horn lines, addicting breathy vocals, and strong rhythm section. Each song ranges from being a quiet, intimate conversation with a stripped-down piano and vocals to a bombastic horn-fueled assault–most songs have both. The point is, if you’re not listening to Christopher the Conquered and his Black Gold Brass Band right now you should stop what you’re doing and start.
Though the band’s name is ridiculously long, the songs themselves are succinct and never outstay their welcome. Even the longer tracks feel like their the right length. The intimacy of the piano lines and the honest vocals guide the listener through the experience, and then the backing brass really make the songs pop. The rhythm section is also strong, though a little underused.
The fun-filled mood of the album is enjoyable and danceable, though songs like “The Truth is on its Way” bring an intensity that I found myself wishing other tracks shared. That said, all of the album’s eight tracks are strong enough to stand on their own and will engage the listener. At times, the lyrics get childishly profane and a little preachy, especially considering the mood of the music, but they aren’t enough to distract from the whole.
But the musicianship is phenomenal. Every member of the nonet not only carry their weight, but add sparkle and whimsy to the tracks. This is a local act that sounds like so much more.
Written by Rob Watkins