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- All Hell by Daughn Gibson
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This man is so bizarre, not only is his name new to me but his truly idiosyncratic sound-world is too. Pegged by the London media as something quite retarded or crassly thought out such as "James Blake mounting Bonnie "Prince" Billy", this is neither really post-dubstep or alt. country. What it is however is an fabulously original and entertaining concoction from a man previously known as the vocalist from Pearls & Brass (who were a riff-tastic Steppenwolf-meets-Nebula style ‘70s biker-rock proposition - our Mike likes them so they must be great!).
What the hell he had going through his mind when he started pondering over ideas for a solo project I dunno as this bears absolutely no relation to that band apart from they both sound American. Like wow, that narrows it down a bit. Well the album opens with 'Bad Guys' which is a fantastic atmosphere-drenched tragi-ballad forged from twinkly vibraphone, slide-guitar, brush drums and yearning bass moans. Then that astonishing voice piles in swooping down like Stephen Merritt, Ian Curtis and Michael Gira blended into a broken-hearted baritone which could reduce hardened lorry drivers to tears. It takes time does that voice but oh boy, it rewards patient repeated listens like nothing else.
'In the Beginning' is quite a different beast that sports a spirited reverbed piano, an optimistic surge of bass and a finger clicking beat. The vocals are more soulful but just as deep and are beautifully counterpointed in the breakdowns by a homely female backing mantra. A totally delectable tune. 'Tiffany Lou' is another ponderous number where his voice is pitched even lower and its Curtis/Gira-esque sternness is complemented by some cool slow-acoustic, a swaying sad-beat and some moderate glitch-freeze on the vocals, he also chucks in some nice falsetto harmonising to add to the lounge-bar torch-song majesty of it all.This album has it all, It's a constantly flowering delight of dusky moods, intoxicating poignancy, poetic regret and warm reflection and from beginning to end you feel this music carries a profound sensitivity. There's a couple of tunes where he even conjures up the spectres of Elvis, The Righteous Brothers and Roy Orbison - his voice has a superb emotive range and without a doubt 'All Hell' brandishes an indelible power all of its own. The electronics and beats are very subtle but extremely engaging throughout this beautifully realised album and I'm constantly taken at how sonically fresh and striking these songs are. His low-end crooner-ish voice may be a slightly acquired taste for some but I utterly implore you to make the leap.
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