Signature Records (2013)
Review by David Bowling
Cold Satellite is one of the more innovative, or odd if you are so inclined, groups in the music industry. It is based on the relationship that has developed between Jeffrey Foucault and Lisa Olstein. They don’t work together, record together, or perform together. Olstein is an award-winning poet who writes for Foucault. He then takes her words and sets them to music. Next he then enters the studio with his band composed of drummer Billy Conway, bassist Jeremy Curtis, guitarist/pianist Dave Goodrich, and pedal steel guitarist Alex McCullough to bring their separate visions to fruition.
Their first album, 2010’s Jeffrey Foucault: Cold Satellite was built around some poems and fragments, which Foucault cobbled together into finished songs. It had a distinct country blues flavor. Now they have returned with their second album Cavalcade.
Olstein’s approach has changed and matured. Her latest contributions straddle the line between poetry and song lyrics, which make it a different but more polished release.
The only difficultly is they are not Foucault’s words. He adapts his music to her lyrics, which takes the music in a number of directions including rock, country, and blues. There is a dis-connect because of the constant changes in style but when approached as stand-alone tracks, many of the songs are very good.
“Necessary Monsters,’ which is about pregnancy is a stretch for him. On the other hand, “Silver Whips” is crackling rock and roll. Other tracks of note include “Sleepers Wake,” “Bomblet,” and “Every Boy, Every Blood.”
They are a strange pair. It is artistic poetry meeting modern rock and roll. The results may be a little scattered at times but they are always interesting.
Article first published as www.cashboxmagazine.com on Cashbox Magazine