Bill Callaghan’s music, in my opinion, doesn’t necessarily change but develops. The ideas in new album Apocalypse are not new, in the sense that they hark back to Callaghan’s stylistics circa 1995. But where as most of Callaghan’s work under Smog was often stark, recent outings have shown more of a band mentality, the continuum being Callaghan’s voice, which stands out against literally anything as the authorative voice of a great American storyteller.
Riding for the Feeling follows similar Smog/Callaghan themes: leaving/returning/losing/gaining/home/homelessness, as he explores the intricacies that lie between our endless conditions of flux.
The slow build of the waltz is accentuated by distorted, bluesy guitars which paradoxically compete against each other whilst being distinctly in the background against the main, strikingly pretty melody. Here, Callaghan is alone (‘I asked the room, if I said enough?’), yet backed by a string of voices and energy. He paints a picture of himself listening to himself (‘I listened back to the tapes’) and seeing something missing, with the song itself beautifully providing him with his own answer. The conclusion is a celebration of potential and sponteniety (‘riding for the riding‘) brilliantly realised.