Monday, May 05, 2014

Dark Americana Briefs, Volume 14

Salt and Sky

I'm still chasing that dark Americana dragon.

Salter Cane: Salter Cane (2007)
4 out of 5 stars

I know nothing about Salter Cane, having discovered them by accident on Rdio and listened without looking them up. An extremely familiar drum beat (I've heard it from Munly and 16HP) kicks things off, and it's very straight-forward folk/country of the kind I'm used to. But also, it's fairly high-caliber, and for some reason I can't quite put my finger on, it reminds me of Nick Cave.

Jay Munly: Galvanized Yankee (1999)
3 out of 5 stars

Early on, it sounds like Jay Munly was closely following the lead of 16 Horsepower. Galvanized Yankee has the same rock- and folk-influenced, banjo-heavy country, with expressive vocals. It also has plenty of darkness ("Pretty Saro"). But it is not on par with his Lee Lewis Harlots record in any way, shape, or form, due to a few missteps ("Death Ain't You Got No Shame" or "The Why and the Wherefore") and the biggest WTF ever at the end of an album.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Push the Sky Away (2013)
4 out of 5 stars

Speak of the devil. Once again, I'm including Nick Cave in this series even though it doesn't fit perfectly. Push the Sky Away has the eclecticism and near-madness that Cave always brings to his work, and some of the excellent bass parts that I love (check instant classic “Water’s Edge”). But it's otherwise quite different from something like 2008's Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! This is much more subdued, with rare swells to crescendo. It's darker, more serious. Not as much fun, perhaps, but every bit as good.

1 comment:

  1. Nick Cave, no matter how many times I try listening to him, just never manages to leave an impression for some reason. It's not that I dislike him, I just forget what he even sounded like 5 minutes after I finish listening.

    I'm digging this Salter Cane, though. I also really like that name, though I'm not quite sure why.