Saturday, May 01, 2010

Lee Harvey Osmond - A Quiet Evil

'I live with thirteen dead cats,
A Purple dog that wears spatz - they're all living in the hall...' - I Can't Stand It

Swamp-ladled, sultry noir tucked into silky negligees, running the Nebraskas of your central nervous system back & forth from Mexico to somewhere west of Montana via Montreal, featuring the Cowboy Junkies' Timmins trio. No mere rifling through sidewalk regrets & backseat sediment this, though. It definitely isn't a trip to the same straits and street corners, though these creepy tendrils of songs find the same languidly insistent footing with eerie pedal steel & Michael Timmins understatedly tense pyroclastic guitar beneath & beyond Andy Maize's whispered, half-spoken narratives, forged from vampire tongues and alligator teeth. Sure, tales of the neglected and nefarious from badlands boulevard isn't a new musical estuary but tis a richly luxurious one to plunder when you're equipped with the right kit. There's an effortlessness that flows naturally with no constraints of plastic hipster Waits-wannabe's. It has the same addictively cloying, oppressive but airy ambience that JJ Cale oozed, before Nazi mangler Clapton neutered it. And if the one Timmins credit Angels In The Wilderness - with the exquisitely mellifluous vocals of maid Margo - resembles the orphan child of Miles From Our Home's closing hidden track then that is by no means detrimental. The total opposite, especially factoring in that you don't want for Margo's velvet vocals elsewhere, though she appears on torch duet I'm Going To Stay That Way, mirroring the duets in the Junkies catalogue. While it shares the Cowboys' characteristic quietly insinuating broiling sinistrations this is more the big city blues, as on the smokily sumptuous Lucifer's Blues, steaming street hoodoo hustle of Cuckoo's Nest and beat-poetry stream of surreal on I Can't Stand It - a sort of update of Who Do You Love? - rather than the desolately acute outback bleak, reigning in their more long-winded interludes. High lonesome in lowdown places.
Stu Gibson
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