Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dark Americana Briefs, Volume 11


Here's more of my second musical obsession. Let me know what you think.

Mark Kozelek: Like Rats (2013)
4 out of 5 stars

Growing up in a small town in rural Nebraska: It turns out, that's not a great way to keep up on things. I'm always finding out about music and trends from the 90's that I had no idea existed. For example, slowcore. Mark Kozelek was one of the big names of slowcore, with a couple of bands, but on Like Rats he plays dark Americana, pure acoustic folk/rock. He manages to make the style consistent among covers of such varying artists as Danzig, Bad Brains, Bruno Mars, and Genesis, among others. There's even an unironic cover of "I Got You Babe" that is way better than it should be. But the best songs are his take on "Green Hell" that rivals the Metallica version, and a rendition of Godflesh's "Like Rats" which sounds like Wovenhand.

Crippled Black Phoenix: I, Vigilante (2010)
4.5 out of 5 stars

The more I hear out of Crippled Black Phoenix, the higher they climb on my list of all-time favorite bands. After hearing this, they're solidly in the top 5 of bands that are still active. What could be better than a blend of the best parts of blues, Western, and 70's prog? Well, if they dropped the dumb 60's pop song off the end. It seems to be a jab at someone more than a part of the album.

O'Death: Outside (2011)
4 out of 5 stars

When I reviewed an earlier O'Death album, I said it was some kind of unhinged fiddle-thrash. That's nothing like Outside, a much moodier and darker piece. It still draws on eclectic influences from metal, indie rock, and gypsy music, among others, but it's much more compelling.


  1. Mark Kozelek's cover of Descendents' Silly Girl is pretty great too.

  2. I'm really digging that Crippled Black Phoenix. I think I'll have to look into them further.