David Cronenberg's Wife - Bluebeard's Rooms

David Cronenberg’s Wife is the first band I saw to be referred to as ‘anti-folk’ and at the time I just assumed this meant playing an acoustic guitar while making a lot of strange noise. On the basis of this album they are now probably better described as country-tinged indie. At times vocalist’s style is close to Dylan but certainly more tuneful, while other songs bring out more of a southern old bluesman. There is a lot of instrumentation and nice ‘big’ sound to the production here and all the many different layers sit nicely and clearly in the mix.

The general style of David Cronenberg’s Wife is one of bluesy rock: guitars twang, drums beat out heavy rhythms in a country style. On the louder and faster songs there’s almost a wall of noise built up with elements like classic analogue organ or harmonica over wonderfully nasty fuzzed up guitars, with everything playing to the beat in a gloriously raucous way. The openers of ‘Runaway Pram’ and ‘Coming to Your Hometown’ display this best and are probably the most instant and catchy of the album.

When the music’s quiet the songs range from gently melodious to claustrophobic and atmospheric, particularly in tracks like ‘I Couldn’t Get Off’ and ‘Harry the Morgue’, where the vocals are steeped in effects. Harking back to Dylan again, chief among all of DWC’s instruments are the vocals, both in carrying the melody but also in delivering a story. These aren’t lazy, clichéd lyric lines but crafted and thought-out concepts that the average song length of four minutes or so reflects.

This is an easy album to enjoy, superficially poppy and catchy but with a dark, intelligent humour to the lyrics for anyone who takes the time to listen.

Overall

7

out of 10

Last updated: 18/04/2018 22:37:26

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Tags blues, folk, rock
Category Review

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