RIYL: A New Twist On An Old Style

Label: President Gator Records

Sly Vinyl Records was pleased to premiere The Through & Through Gospel Review‘s single “Don’t Let It Die” off of their album On The Lord’s Wrecking Crew back in April as well as catch Joel for an exclusive interview. Last chance to snag a copy of this instant classic!

President Gator Records has announced an exciting new release by Arizona’s own The Through & Through Gospel Review!
The Through & Through Gospel Review is the brainchild of former Dear and the Headlights guitarist Joel Marquard, who was kind enough to share some of his time with Sly Vinyl to talk about their sophomore release ‘On The Lord’s Wrecking Crew‘ for another Sly Vinyl Exclusive Interview.

Limited Edition of 250 copies
Black Vinyl LP
Digital Download
Sly Vinyl Exclusive Interview
with Eric HughesJoel Marquard

EH: You (Joel) are such a prolific musician and are a central role in many active acts (Gospel Claws, The Through & Through Gospel Review, Samuel L Cool J) that cross multiple genres.

When you write new music, do you write with one of your acts in mind? Or do you come up with songs, and then figure out which band might perform it best? Obviously, some songs lend themselves better stylistically to certain acts more than others.

JM: First off, thank you, you are too kind.  I guess it depends on the song.  When I was working on Samuel L Cool J, I would definitely try and write for that band.  Same with Through and Through Gospel Review.  But also sometimes songs just come to me and I try to find a place for them.

I usually write vocal melody first and usually in my FedEx truck at work.  I will record the part to my phone. There are some songs I remember exactly where I was when the song came to me.  “Slip and Slide”, the Samuel L Cool J song came to me when I was driving down Chandler Heights Rd. turning on to 132nd St. in South Chandler AZ.

EH: At what point did you realize that you needed to form The Through & Through Gospel Review?

Did you come up with concept first? Or did you find yourself with songs written, but no outlet for them?

JM: Well, I wrote and recorded the album all by myself and wasn’t sure what was going to happen with it.  It’s not an easy thing trying to market roots gospel/spiritual music these days.  But I let the Gospel Claws record label hear it (Common Wall Media) and they loved it and put it out.

A lot of other friends and musicians around town from other bands that I knew had heard it and totally got it and loved it.  So I got all those people and put a band together.

EH: Through & Through Gospel Review  songs display many styles from soul to punk to doo-wop, but you are still able to coat it all with this antiqued veneer that gives the listener the impression that this album was just unearthed from a barn that hasn’t seen the light of day since the 1940’s!

Where do you pull your inspirations from and how do you find the perfect mix of ‘now’ and ‘then’?

JM: Roots Gospel music is one of my favorite genres of music and it’s a shame so many people are afraid of it because I would argue that that’s where rock and roll really came from.  It’s probably not easy to just break into the genre and find a ton of good stuff.

It all started when I went to the public library and found a CD that was field recordings of some call and response type stuff and I was pretty fascinated by it.  “I Head Toward The Light” is directly influenced by that recording.  Then I heard a story on NPR about a new comp. CD that just came out called “Fire In My Bones: Raw and Rare and Other-Worldly African-American Gospel 1944-2007”.  It was compiled by this guy Mike McGonigal or Yeti Mike and he just found a bunch of other weirdos who collected rare gospel 45s and records and put this comp. together.  He has since put out 3 or 4 more and also does a podcast called “Buked and Scorned Gospel Radio Hour”.  But it’s really mind blowing, really great stuff.   So I was hugely influenced by those plus all the other stuff I listen to.   I try to listen and learn from as many types of music from different times and different places as I can.

EH: Through & Through Gospel Review live shows can be quite the sight to see.

When someone leaves a Through & Through Gospel Review show, they know they’ve just experienced something exciting and unique.

How do you push past general expectations for what a live performance should be about and continue to provide riveting and engaging shows that engage the audience?

JM: Well, my biggest thing with any music I do is variety, which I think I learned from the Smashing Pumpkins “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.”  Such great variety on the record.  There’s nothing worse than seeing a band or hearing an album where every song sounds the same. When I record the Through and Through stuff I even try and record every song different.

EH: So many individuals take part in a live Through & Through Gospel Review performance, how did that translate in the recording studio for ‘On The Lord’s Wrecking Crew’?

Were as many performers a part of the recording process?

JM: I record everything by myself for the most part in my house with a few exceptions.  “Don’t Let It Die” was recorded at a school and I did have some members of the band help on it.

Also, songs that need good drums, I usually have an actual drummer play on, as was the case with “Devil Got To Go” and “God Provides”.  Jason Roedl who usually plays in the band Mergence was kind enough to play the drums on those tracks.   Bob Hoag at Flying Blanket Recording mastered it thankfully.

The Through & Through Gospel Review – S/T

Included with this purchase is a digital download of The Through & Through Gospel Review‘s eponymous debut album.

Listen to the Bandcamp embed below to get more of an idea of what The Through & Through Gospel Review is all about. Check out the songs Please St. Peter, I Firmly Believe & I Head Towards the Light if you need some extra convincing!

The 11-songs range in influences from soul to punk to the doo-wop vibes of Marquard’s other band Gospel Claws, and are effortlessly tied together with lots of reverb and shoot-from-the-hip production techniques. More importantly, Marquard’s gospel lyrical themes are the glue that really unifies the record. It’s difficult to read exactly how much irony is intended, and perhaps there is very little, but it’s not hard to imagine Marquard cracking a smile as he sings how the devil will “slap your niece.”

The Details

* Exclusive 250 Limited Edition LP
* Black Virgin Vinyl
* Includes a Free Digital Download Card of the album, the debut album, and 4 live videos from M.I.M. performance
* Released by Common Wall Media and President Gator

On The Lord's Wrecking Crew
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Label: President Gator/Common Wall Media/Rubber Brother Records


Price $10

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