A dispersed band gets back together, a half-decade later.
Choo Choo La Rouge has been together 10 years. It took them five years to release their debut LP, 2004's I’ll Be Out All Night , and it’s taken them another five to finish their sophomore album, Black Clouds , which will finally be released next week.
The one-time Boston-based trio can blame the delay of their new release on distance. Since their debut the band has splintered geographically, covering a swath of the Northeast that spans Providence, R.I., to Boston to Philadelphia. “You can do recording where you hole up in a studio for days or weeks, getting something out, but we didn’t do that. We ended up spreading out the recording over a couple years,” explains songwriter Vincent Scorziello.
Black Clouds is a collection of 10 tunes that put a light-hearted smile on the familiar faces of garage, alt-rock and 60s pop. It all sounds a bit like ‘90s post-punk bands—Shudder to Think, Nada Surf, Pinback, et al. Scorziello’s vocals gently bop and weave amidst unsettling minor-key verses and softly rollicking alt-country melodies. The album seems grown-up. Mature. Tight.
Again, blame it on the distance. “That gave us more of a perspective because we were forced to step back in the process over and over again and listen to what we had done and decide if we liked it and we should move forward, or if we should go back and redo things.”
But besides that unexpected silver lining, Scorziello good-naturedly says the distance “is just kind of a pain. It definitely slows down what you’re able to do, but we feel like we just click musically. We’re good friends at this point so the thought of trying to find [new bandmates] just seems kind of silly.” ■