Ron Gallo – Peacemeal

Ron Gallo started off dismissing it all (2017’s Heavy Meta), then he began to question it all (2018’s Stardust Birthday Party), now he seems to understand that the more you know the less you understand, and from there it’s about how content you are with such a bombshell. This year’s Peacemeal is Ron Gallo beginning to settle with such an idea. It’s low-fi and relaxed but still says what it wants to. Maybe you don’t agree with everything it’s saying, but somehow it’s tough to refrain from nodding your head.

Peacemeal is unique in itself. It’s indie low-fi hip-tongue-in-cheek-but-secretly-passionate-hop-rhythmic-jazz-poetry. Not entirely unlike the music of label mate Caroline Rose, but Peacemeal has more intent under the surface. Many of the songs have rolling spoken words that fly like something between rap and Kerouac with Steve Allen (the song “Easter Island” is all that and more). And there’s always a super groovy bridge that follows it, segueing into the next movement of Ron’s choosing.

Ron has developed a new prose that is dry with clever oxymoronic fluidity. He hinted at this with the last track of his previous album, “Happy Deathday” on Stardust Birthday Party, which is one of my favorite Ron songs ever. The idea has broadened to an entire album’s worth of material, and it’s interesting to hear how many ways he can swing it.

The mix switches from clear and present to dangerous with demo-style execution. It gives off the duality of lighthearted sounds with premeditated head-on writing, which is exactly what Peacemeal is. Ron sees the divorce and he wants to lay it down on you easy, kid, let you know it’s not your fault and you’re not the problem. But still, keep that head on your shoulders and chew bubblegum not tobaccy.

While I think some of the tracks, namely the last one, come off as a little bit of a high five in the mirror, Peacemeal is a fun album for something that deals with heavy topics. And those heavy topics have to be found in Peacemeal, you have to want to seek them out. And if that’s something you aren’t ready for, just shut up and eat it.

Ron Gallo
[New West]