Saturday, October 16, 2010

CATACOMBS - Cass McCombs (2009)

Taken at face value, this third outing from east coast sing-songwriter Cass McCombs shows a lot of promise. The easy-going country-flavored musicianship is fine, at times even better, and McCombs has a fantastic voice, a high-toned, sugar-tinged wonder capable of channelling the spirit of Gram Parsons or the Everly Brothers at one moment, The Velvet Underground's Doug Yule on the next.

Add to that, some of the tracks here are amazing: Don't Vote hits a fabulous, defeated, contemporary groove; Dreams-Come-True-Girl feels culled from the best late-50s Buddy Holly stock, and Harmonia tops them all, as pitch perfect an alt-country ballad as I've heard in quite some time.

This is a talented artist, no doubt. There's just one major drawback.

McCombs likes to work with REALLY SLOW TEMPOS, catatonically slow, and after a while, the overall impact becomes nothing short of maddening.

It's a lame cliche, but a trip to the dentist really is more enjoyable than sitting through repeated listens of this album's weaker tracks.

So a Not Recommended from me. Too much patience testing lethargy to recommend as a whole...though I definitely encourage downloaders to check out Harmonia and this album's other top rated tracks.

Status: Not Recommended.

Component Breakdown:
4. Don't Vote - 8
6. Harmonia - 10
10. Jonesy Boy - 6
Intangibles: Very Low

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