Guitar chords soaked in dark reverb jump-start Castle Black’s new single Sierra. The bass joins 10 seconds in, playing on the offbeat, and giving the rhythm a bouncy sway, showing off the skill of the bassist (as a bassist I know it’s hard to play like that). The vocals come in, “You grace my mind”, aloof yet frisky while being slightly sassy in accent.
The verse sections create a catchy hook full of grit that sounds altogether reminiscent of 90’s grunge meeting 70’s punk, a perfect blend of sluggish and speedy, while still quite distinct from modern alternative post-punk. The song settles in before the drums enter, thick and heavy near the one-minute mark, almost easing the listener in before completely taking over.
The cymbals crash hard and fade out until the guitar turns the mood up for the chorus, taking any pair of ears on a sound wave ride straight up the swinging crest after the initial trough, the drums and bass crashing in to drive up all the energy. “I see you!” the singer calls throughout the chorus, amidst passionate instrument hits, creating so much energy that Castle Black almost materializes in front of me as I find myself shaking and chanting in unison with the words. Sierra is a song to dance to in the dark, and one could have as much fun head banging alone in the living room as out at the concert hall flouncing with friends.
Check out their music at castleblackmusic.com and definitely catch Castle Black on tour this summer (you won’t be sorry), since HBO is making us wait for new scenes of Game of Thrones’ own Castle Black (shout out to any GOT and especially Jon Snow fans in the world, I’m dying to see what the Night King will do). Thank you Castle Black for not making me wait (like HBO) to see more of your raw live energy. I’m immensely interested to see the heights this trio will scale on the great Wall of Music.