(CD/LP, Ripple Music, 2020)
Scott “Wino” Weinrich is one of those musicians who age like fine, red wine getting better with time. In the middle of being an iconic frontman of US Doom Metal founders SAINT VITUS and THE OBSSESSED, both founded in the late ‘70s, Wino nurtures a strong love for Americana / Folk Rock and the underground scene, and once in a while releases ‘unplugged’ solo albums, with “Forever Gone” being his third one. This record is filled with stripped-down melancholic Rock tracks with sporadic use of unplugged guitar. Needless to say, if you’re a fan of Wino’s music in any shape or form “Forever Gone” will call you by your name to...
...his characteristic songwriting, bathed in longing, loss, heartache and all things dark. In the acoustic vein of his collaboration with Conny Ochs that produced two albums, “Heavy Kingdom” (2012) and “Freedom Conspiracy” (2015), “Forever Gone” starts with the title track that happens to be a different version of the song released in 2015. This version of “Forever Gone” is based on Wino’s (g)raspy, story-telling voice and his acoustic guitar, and is strong enough to get you instantly hooked. The guitar slides, wrapped with the warm, almost-echo-y veil and Wino’s almost-spoken singing set the mood for the rest of the album and I would suggest using a really good pair of headphones to fully appreciate the overall, long-road-trippy atmosphere from start to finish. “Taken” with a kinda fuzzy sound, guides the listener in an almost-spiritual, Native American path with Wino painting everything with the darkest of colors using his harsh vocals as the ultimate palette, while “The Song's At The Bottom Of The Bottle” enters with a Rory Gallagher-characteristic, earthy, Bluesy energy. Even though the combination of vocals / acoustic guitar are quite melancholic, this song sounds also comforting, and feels like putting a strong hand on your shoulder to let you know everything will be alright.
“Dark Ravine” and “Dead Yesterday” were also previously released, on “Heavy Kingdom” but, just like the title track, have been renovated by Wino’s badass, weathered reading breathing new life to them – just note how the “I don’t know where we’ll be tomorrow, I don’t care, I don’t care anyway” lyric line will make the hair at the back of your neck stand. Even though I totally recommend listening to this album in one take to dive deep into the storytelling character and bravado, “Lavender And Sage” is one of the tracks that I have been revisiting the most and not only because of the Lou Reed-laden structure. To me, this is Wino’s brightest moment (I love the oxymoron here) and I’d be excited to get more tracks highlighted with his wearing-my-heart-on-sleeve performance that gets better in a live setting. Ok, that, and the JOY DIVISION cover too – the original is one of my favorite tracks, and Wino has shined a different light on it with his own Doomy / Hendrix-like way, converting it from a Post Punk dramatic hit to an instant Wino Rock classic.
When you’re on your own and you feel you’ve hit your lowest, “Forever Gone” can be the friend you’ll ever gonna need delivering authentic emotion, and in the end, will make you realize that things will only get better. Are you ready to be shaken your inner self? Because this humble, true underground Rock record, and a soon-to-be classic will do that and more. Don’t miss it.
01. Forever Gone
03. The Song's At The Bottom Of The Bottle
04. No Wrong
05. Dark Ravine
06. Dead Yesterday
07. You’re So Fine
08. Crystal Madonna
09. Lavender And Sage
10. Was Is And Shall Be
11. Isolation (JOY DIVISION cover)
Jean-Paul Gaster - Drums
Scott “Wino” Weinrich - Guitars, Vocals, Bass