Alec K. Redfearn has been kicking around with various lineups of the Eyesores for over 20 years (and before that with the underrated Amoebic Ensemble). On The Opposite, he strips the group down to his accordion and vocals, along with Ann Schattle on horn, Christopher Sadlers on bass, loops, and vocals, and Matt McLaren on drums and percussion. But with more than a little studio processing, this quartet invokes a much bigger sound. Indeed, for the first few listens I could have sworn electric guitar was a prominent instrument.
In character with most of Redfearn’s output, the album is an unusual mix of weird Americana, folk/rock, and European Rock in Opposition. Unlike much of what is reviewed herein, the tracks (mostly) have a beat, circular melodies, and singing with a familiar structure. The tunes have a catchy urgency. But for all of its bounce, The Opposite goes to more than a few dark places lyrically, exploring arcane opposing relationships with heavy use of animal imagery.
Comparisons are difficult…maybe Kampec Dolores or Aksak Maboul overlaid with modern American dystopian rock. That doesn’t quite describe The Opposite, but it is a place to start. In the meantime, give Redfearn and company a chance. You won’t regret it.