Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dark Americana Briefs, Volume 15

Hell of a Week

This has been a hell of a week for me, thus the lax updating. I hope one of these will make up for it.

T.G. Olson: The Bad Lands to Cross (2013)
3.5 out of 5 stars

T.G. Olson is the frontman of Across Tundras, in my opinion one of the most interesting bands in metal today. As I've mentioned before, he also has a hell of a lot of solo material for pay-what-you-want on Bandcamp. If you had to explain Bad Lands to Cross to someone who grew up in the 60's, you might get pretty far by calling it acid country. It takes that classic sad cowboy style of country and adds in atmospheric electric guitar, a layer of fuzz over the vocals, and just the right amount of echo to make it psychedelic. It's good stuff, but not quite dynamic enough to go on for a full hour.

Chelsea Wolfe: The Grime and the Glow (2010)
4 out of 5 stars

I don't know how to categorize Chelsea Wolfe except in the category of "good." I thought about trying to explain it in a technical sense, but I have a better idea. It's like being in a dream, with some ill-defined threat looming over everything you do; you try to read a page from a book that will help you deal with that threat, but you just can't sort out the words on the page.

Swans: My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky (2010)
4 out of 5 stars

Just scratching the surface of the Swans discography for the first time, to really discuss it would be a bit out of my depth. But the first reunion record is a powerful blend of post-rock, Americana (check the mandolin and steel guitar), and all kinds of folk and whatever else. It's strange, atmospheric, trance-inducing, soothing and unsettling all at once.

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