Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Dark Americana Briefs, Volume 19

King Buzzo: This Machine Kills Artists (2014)
3.5 out of 5 stars

King Buzzo (of Melvins fame) released an acoustic album in early 2014. It's entirely him and his acoustic guitar, sometimes with vocal distortion but mostly this is naked singer-songwriter. In mood and style I'd say it's pretty close to Wino's Adrift, with lively, energetic and surprisingly uptempo riffs but a downbeat mood. It doesn't have quite enough to keep it really interesting across the full 45 minutes, but it ain't too bad.

Chelsea wolfe: Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs (2012)
3.5 out of 5 stars

Despite the title, this isn't a completely acoustic record, but it is stripped more bare than Wolfe's usual. It's still quite strong, often eerie and ethereal. Yet a big part of her success is in the lush layers of her sound. Not that it depends on it completely. It does suffer without; her voice isn't the same laser of emotional intensity when laid bare.

Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood: Black Pudding (2013)
4 out of 5 stars

Mark Lanegan is sort of the Merzbow of dark Americana, always collaborating with under-appreciated but very cool artists. Well, the metaphor breaks down there, but anyway. Here he's working with Duke Garwood, a man of the blues, and Black Pudding is a strange, dark, psychedelic beast. Most of the songs have a droning background with blues guitar and husky vocals. But then a couple of tunes have a different beat, one you might call funky. Maybe that's the right word? This is cool stuff.

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