October in 2022, was the month we saw Reaper On Red bring out their debut darkwave album, Zodiac Lights. The title refers to the false dawn before true daylight, which is the time things in the darkness transition and melt away. Robert Berry and Carla Berry are Reaper On Red, with the album mixed & mastered by Mike Montgomery at Candyland Studio, containing ten tracks for your listening pleasure.
They kicked off with the title track, “The Zodiac Lights“, which also happened to be a single, and even from the beginning of the album, you can hear the British 80s influence of bands such as Jesus And The Mary Chain or Spiritualized, with the jangle guitar that also seconds as a incoming wall of impending sonic sound.
What happens when the light comes?… we have the swirling “Mourning Nights” that reverberates like a wire pulled too tight. Other tracks, the perception changes when you realise the electronics are not secondary to the guitar work or vocals. The shamanistic “Way Beyond The Waves” is an excellent example, as the synths and programming take you away to another plane of reality.
There is the cover of the Love And Rockets track, “No Big Deal“, that was off their 1989 self-titled album. They have kept that sass of the original and the swaggering guitar. “The Conjuring” is delicate like the first rays of light with its looping programming, unearthly and untouchable.
For those that love a bit of vinyl (mmmm, that sexy physical record smell….), the album is being released as a limited edition for you collectors. Psychedelic post-punk, not over dressed but elegantly understated, is Reaper On Red’s mix of heady guitar, often experimental electronics and tandem vocals, that make The Zodiac Lights a joy to listen to.