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The Big Takeover Issue #94
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The Ironsides - Changing Light (Colemine)

16 May 2023

After a decade of nifty singles, Bay Area quartet the Ironsides finally gets around to making a full-length album. Inspired by sixties and seventies Eurosoundtrack and library music,Changing Light presents a series of instrumental portraits and soundscapes that create cinematic vistas from flicks that only exist in the minds of guitarists Joe Ramey and James Payne, drummer Dan Ford, and bassist/bandleader Max Ramey. Guest Louis Robert King and a host of sessioneers provide orchestral arrangements that soak the tunes in lush textures – something that could easily overwhelm some melodies, but that’s not the case here. Filled with sweeping strings, fuzz guitar, and tasteful rhythm work, tracks like “Shades of Silver” and “The Web” sound like the imaginary films really were being projected onto the wall while the band composed and recorded. That approach makes each cut direct and evocative, like we were there as each track went down. Misty and romantic, but never cheesy, Changing Light sounds like a long-lost treasure from the musical world of Italian cinema.