Diving into discs by Castle, Bob Kendall, and more

Odds and ends
By CHRIS CONTI  |  August 15, 2012

TWISTING AND TURNING Castle in action at Fête.

This is the perfect time of year to catch up on the endless goodie sack of music coming down the pipe on a weekly basis (and please keep it coming). There's a handful of rock records worth checking out here, ranging from the summery jams of Castle to the steady, melodic grooves across Bob Kendall's new album.

Newport-based quintet Castle (the Band) formed about two years ago, when the accordion and guitar duo of Bessie Bessin and Mike Cellemme hooked up with drummer Dave Passafiume and guitarist Noah Bickford. In late 2010 bassist Craig Cameron offered his services after seeing his second Castle show without their bass player. The band describes the sound on their self-titled debut album as "danceable indie-rock," and I'd say it's a pretty damn unique sound from one track to the next. Bessin steals the show from the start on the opener "It's Not Mine" and the breezy toe-tapper "Foggy Eyes." The album is a team effort, though, with Passafiume leading the charge on vocals and acoustic guitar on the galloping finale "Awesome Powerful Brain" (four of the five members each sing lead vox on a track). This is a fun summer listen (check out the lyrics on "Jamestown"), recorded with Scott Rancourt of Summing Point Studios and new label imprint Giant Robot Records.

Castle will play two CD release shows next weekend. Cameron said the band will return to the studio and finish a full-length album due out early next year. Check castle-the-band.com for the new disc and updates.

I checked in with Rancourt for his thoughts on the Castle debut.

"They have five talented songwriters bringing individual influences to create beautiful vocal harmonies, solid rhythms, and strong hooks, with an attention to detail and a willingness to experiment in the studio," he said. "The sound has enough twists and turns to always keep you guessing."

CASTLE + THE DENVER BOOT | Friday, August 24 @ 10 pm | Billy Goode's, 23 Marlborough St, Newport | 401.848.5013 + CASTLE + MOGA + YOU WON'T | Saturday, August 25 @ 9 pm | Local 121, 121 Washington St, Providence | 401.274.2121 | local121.com

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