Mike Mullins, leader and guitarist of the Central Arkansas Recognizer rockers, is ready to present the band’s new songs to an audience.
“This Conversation Is Echolocation,” the band’s second album, was released today and the trio, completed by bassist Michael Mullens and drummer Steve Cook, will perform an album release show on Saturday at White Water Tavern in Little Rock. .
“I’m glad we finished with the record,” said Mullins, 47. “It’s rewarding, but it’s a tough process. From December 2019 to the last bits we have [worked] in January of this year, it’s a long time to work on the same nine songs. I’m ready to stop hearing them and start playing them. “
The tracks are a satisfying cliché of upbeat, anthemic alternative rock with the passionate, soaring vocals of Mullins and enough progressive, psychedelic rock forays to make things interesting.
“Bite the Bullet” has a nervous guitar part before launching into the stratosphere; “The Takedown” is a driving banger powered like a drag strip racer by the interaction of Cook and Mullens; “The Emperor’s New Mind” is an exploratory instrument sarcastically mixed with samples of old anti-drug commentary. “Fuse, Meet Match!”, As the title suggests, is an incendiary call to arms as Mullins does his best to shred his vocal cords on every chorus.
“I was trying to say something about all this divisive rhetoric that everyone seems to be having right now,” he says of the song. “Instead of finding more reasons to divide, we should try to find ways to accept each other instead of letting these algorithms sort us into groups.”
The album ends with the meditative “Wait, Son”, which ends with a long electronic drone covered with a woman’s voice reciting numbers reminiscent of Wilco’s “Poor Places” and “Welcome to the Machine”, at the end of the album. era of Pink Floyd.
The song also features Mullins’ 13-year-old son Jack on the synth.
Central Arkansas Recognizer’s new album – Mike Mullins (from left), Steve Cook and Michael Mullens – was released today and is called “This Conversation Is Echolocation”.
“We actually just built this in the studio and it turned into this kind of advice father-to-son song,” Mullins said. “Once it turned into lyrics I was like, let’s go [him] to play on it. “
Not that it was all a big deal for the youngster.
“At the time, I think he was not at all impressed,” Mullins said with a chuckle. “But once he heard the final product, I could tell he enjoyed it and was happy to be a part of it.”
“This Conversation Is Echolocation” – the title came about because Mullins liked the way the words sounded together – is a good marker for the group’s current situation, he says.
“We started as a trio, then we took another guitarist and this first album [2019’s self-titled debut] I had two guitars … but we came back to a trio and that’s when we kind of got the idea to make this kind of psychedelic rock record. “
The band designed home demos of the album before working with veteran producer Barry Poynter in 2019. Poynter also produced Mullins’ former band Underclaire.
“I’ve done three more albums with Barry, and the thing about all those sessions is you really learn something about yourself and your playing and your approach to song-making because Barry is working on you. . I trust him. He has that ear to be able to hear things that most people can’t. “
Recognition album release show
Opening acts: Joe & the Feels, Indigo Lightning
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Or: White Water Tavern, 2500 W. Seventh St., Little Rock
Admission: $ 7
Information: (501) -375-8400; whitewatertavern.com
Proof of covid-19 vaccination or negative test for covid-19 required by site of admission.