Friday, July 10, 2015

King Dude : " Songs of Flesh & Blood -In the Key of Light"

Being the Chelsea Wolfe that I am you would think I'd already be all over this considering he is one of the few artists she has collaborated with and midway into the first song I am not sure why I haven't been. It's more post- punk meets rockabilly than folk or the Johnny Cash singer-song writer thing I assumed it to be. There is more of a Rome like strum to "Deal With the Devil". The things I like about it that is remains dark. Sure Nick Cave is an obvious influence, but Cowgill doesn't get lost in the narrative and forget he is singing a song an not narrating a story.

TJ has impressive notes at the bottom of his register that sounds lie he is scraping them from the back of his vocal chords. The piano line to  "Death Won't Take Me" is what really separates it from the previous song, the drums also offer more swing so when it builds into Cowgill's croons it has more clearly defined its self despite similar vocal phrasing at the onset of the song.  Then things shifts into a more rockin boogie with "Rosemary". The cavernous production adds a another layer of darkness. The pulse of "The Heavy Curtain" reminds me of the Leonard Cohen song from the "Natural Born Killers" soundtrack. Though fuzzed out guitar comes in and rocks it more at the end. He returns to the more apocalyptic folk side on " Desolate Hour". There is a haunting  hollowness to the sparse instrumentation. Slowly layers are added.

His vocals moves up in the mix and is bared against the organ of " I Don't Wanna Dream Anymore", which drones on rather than climaxes. Then comes the rambling western feel to "Holy Water". He sings in a slightly higher key on this one. His upper register has a slacker punk sneer to it.  The piano arrangement has the dreamy dissonance Chelsea Wolfe has used before, which is the first place I really have heard any of her style having rubbed off on him. The album closes rather sedately with the folky "Sliver Crucifix" .

I prefer the fuller sounds and production on this album to some of his older work I heard a few years ago. I'll give this a 9.5, imagine if you are a long time fan then some of the more sparse and droning moments that didn't grab me off the bat will be more of you thing so this might be the perfect album to you and perhaps I might just need to let it grow on me.  It will be making the trip over to the iPod so that says something.

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