Castles in Spain,
(Rat Attack, 2005)

"Castles in Spain takes you on a spiritual field trip through the darker recesses of the soul," says their site on CD Baby. "The music is an opiate, which transcends life's trials, delivering solace and the possibility of salvation." The site also describes the band as having a "certain Castilian/Moorish flavor."

I would say, however, Again is just workmanlike rock music, on the softer side. There is very little of the Middle East influence that the band's name and the CD's Moorish design cover promise.

There is, however, a bit of mystery in some of the minor-key songs, conveyed by lead singer Biachi's haunting voice. The first one, "My Nerves," even sounds a little psychedelic. Biachi writes all the group's songs, and this band seems to be her project. The other members are Joe Birtola on bass, Derek Richmond on guitar and Anthony Verdier on drums.

The lyrics, largely about relationships, are nothing special. For example: "I have real / and I have truth" or "I am president of my own country / I call self pity." Of course, looking for wisdom in rock lyrics is about as likely as earning enough money to buy a castle in Spain.

The best tracks may be the instrumentals. "The Possibility of Starting Over" has some eery guitar work. "Tribalicious" is an interesting two minutes of tribal sounding drums. Others plod along a bit, backed mainly by acoustic guitar. Overall, this is not a bad effort, but is it not as exotic as it is described.

by Dave Howell
31 March 2007

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