Friday, October 23, 2020

Certain Songs #1941: River Roses – “Dark Stroll” | Medialoper

. . .

Album: Each and All
Year: 1988

. . .

And sometimes I just don’t remember. That’s always part of the fun in a project like this: trying to remember exactly how you came across a song that you’ve loved for decades and decades. Especially when it’s the only song you remember by that artist. And it’s an obscure artist, to boot.

And so, I’m going to do a lot of guesswork here, and say that River Roses played Fresno at some point during the dark summer of 1988. Perhaps at Manchester Mall. I have a weird memory of seeing shows there, but for the life of me, I don’t remember where or when.

Given that their album, Each and All, was on Pitch-A-Tent — Camper Van Beethoven’s label — I’m going to guess that they were fellow Californians. Given the guitars that are on “Dark Stroll,” they might even have come from the Davis scene that produced 28th Day, because there’s definitely the same buzz here. UPDATE: I just checked YouTube, and I’m now led to believe that they’re from Tuscon, Arizona. So, like the Sidewinders, which is also a good comp.

And in fact, it’s the guitars that make me love “Dark Stroll.” It’s not an instrumental, but there is some fantastic fuzzy guitar all the way through, alternating between the long, flowing main riff that opens and closes the song, and the solos weaving in and out of each other by guitarists Christopher Alan Holilman and Gene Ruley. I will freely admit that I got those names from a picture of the back cover on Each and All’s Discogs entry.

Because I’m not even sure I memorized their names back in 1988. Though I think that Holiman was the lead singer on “Dark Stroll,” not that I remember any of the lyrics, outside of “and I walked out the door” after which the guitars basically take over for the rest of the song, going on and on and on and on. It’s kinda awesome.

“Dark Stroll”

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