The Royal Tinfoil
Well Water Communion
Over the last 18 months or so, the Royal Tinfoil have proven themselves to be one of the absolute best live bands in Charleston, with fantastic energy and creativity and the chops to back it up. Lamont "Mackie" Boles and Lily Slay initially played around town as a duo. While recently they've been performing with a full band setup, this studio album features the pair with only a few guests. And while it doesn't quite reach the high level of intensity a full band brings, it still shines.
Slay opens Well Water Communion with a deeply reaching "Excuuuuuse meee," before belting out the fast-paced folk-honky-tonk "Die Already," harmonizing with Boles — as they do on nearly every track — through the surprisingly uplifting chorus, "I'm getting on not getting along with you."
While their theatrics and fast-paced swing make for a great vibe, the two best tracks are their most grounded — and least collaborative — tracks. On the seventh, "The Wretched Curse of Fools," Slay pours out her soul, starting slowly before breaking into an uptempo chorus where she showcases her vocal skills, lilting beautifully, "I did it to myself/Just like I always do as you can tell/I didn't need no help to fuck it all to hell/It's just a spell of the wretched curse of fools."
Boles brings a new level of sincerity to the album with the next track, "Run Away," singing the restrained, pretty, and downright mournful chorus: "Fill up the car with gasoline/Let's go someplace we've never seen/Don't you remember that dream/We had." The lyrics paint a poignant, wistful image that's hard to shake — a nod to solid songwriting.
Boles' voice is also key on "Stalker vs. Stalker," only this time it's not sad but sinister and creepy, like a slightly chilled-out Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Catchier tunes like "Little Lotta Whiskey," and "The Devil" kept getting stuck in my head, which is a good sign for any aspiring band. I continued to find myself singing them throughout the day; everyone nearby must have thought I was a complete alkie because I kept singing, "Give me a little lotta whiskey."
The last two tracks — "The Introduction" and "Theme from Muscadine" — are more amusing and playful, but they epitomize the spirit of the band's unique live show. By now, folks are well aware of the talent we're dealing with here. On future albums, they would do well to incorporate a full band and record with better sound quality. But the Royal Tinfoil shouldn't worry about being too polished. (facebook.com/theroyaltinfoil)
The Royal Tinfoil performs at both Monster Music and at the Tin Roof in North Charleston on Sat. July 7.