A hard-hitting take on the current state of the world.
Rodeo FM’s fourth studio album pulls no punches, covering all that is wrong with the world, from climate change to class war and much in between. Pat Carter (acoustic guitar, organ, vocals), Dominik Frassman (drums & backing vocals), Daire MacMaghnuis (bass & backing vocals) and Luis de Cicco (electric guitar, lap steel and backing vocals), aka Rodeo FM, certainly don’t beat around the bush with this hard-hitting take on life. Joined by guest musicians Justin Jardine on pedal steel, Bernd Jaekel, on saxophone and Roberto Vicchio on trumpet, anger and frustration are expressed in spades through Carter’s lyrics and music, with his left-wing standpoint very clearly demonstrated.
Opening with the title track, ‘Right Wing Planet‘ feels like an instant hit. A great intro with pacy percussion and superb soaring fiddle underpin this song in which Carter explains, “And you wonder where it all went wrong,” setting the collection’s theme. With another lovely musical intro, ‘A Curse Undone‘ follows at a much slower pace, with enchanting falsetto parts in the chorus adding longing & yearning to this song of loss. The lyrics to ‘Open Wide‘ describe helping someone through their problems “I pick the monkey off your back.” ‘Listening to Country‘ follows with its pedal steel-led lament. It illustrates a journey through life, from exploitation in hard, low-paid work to spending the night “Listening to country coz it ain’t no crime.”
‘Trash Can‘ is a bitter tale of hardship. The impression is one of being ridden roughshod over by the state of the world and automation “Once you’re gone, once you’re gone, the machine will just roll on. Once you’re gone, the world will turn without you.” The lively ‘Going Down‘ demonstrates a cynical view towards being after the simple things in life whilst everyone else constantly strives for more. ‘Strange‘ continues in an animated mood whilst pursuing a contemptuous view of the world. This is followed by the upbeat declarations that “You don’t need the news,” “You don’t have to go to Greece” and “You don’t need a PHD” to find there’s ‘Something Wrong‘. The album closes with ‘Dragon’s Tail‘ seemingly depicting monotony. “Like a mule, I pull the plow, I gotta walk another mile.” However, in his dreams, he bucks the system. “In my dreams I don’t pull the plow, I don’t walk the extra mile.” Something of a parallel, it would seem, to Carter.
A lot goes on in several songs, sometimes resulting in a cluttered sound with vocals and instruments competing for space. Nevertheless, Carter’s personal feelings on the topics covered remain abundantly clear: “We’re living on a right-wing planet.”