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Marissa Nadler, July (Sacred Bones Records)




Drivin' n' Cryin' Cd Reviews
February 13,2014

02/13/14
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com, Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Drivin’ n’ Cryin’, Songs for the Turntable (Blank Records/Redeye)

The Kevin Kinney-led Atlanta-based foursome, whose genealogy has a tine leading to Black Crowes, has been in a strange place for a while. This is the final EP of a four-EP contract with Blank, and between writing four or five songs at a pop, Kinney has busied himself with Cherlene, a “Cheryl/Carol”-centric album of mostly original tunes tied in with the FX animated show Archer (Kenny Loggins makes an appearance on that record, presumably duetting with, not choking, Carol/Cheryl/Cherlene). If you think you’re smelling the fog of B-list L.A. ennui, you’re not wrong; D&C has been on a couple of major labels in their 30-year oeuvre, and barely seem to care at this point.  It’s still Southern rock/pop with jokes, sort of like how Electric Six are in relation to Kiss, but I didn’t slap my knee much.  The Tom Petty-vs-REM nicking in “Strangers” is room-temperature, and there are a couple of tunes that just seem like obligato mashups of monstrously popular tunes, for instance “Roll Away the Song,” a half-cocked thing combining the “Sweet Home Alabama” riff with the slide guitar from Zep’s “Ramble On.” I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to groove to this stuff or simply ponder its Elks-club-radio zen, is the problem. C — Eric W. Saeger
 
Marissa Nadler, July (Sacred Bones Records)
It’s a melting-pot world, lately with lots of black metal in the pot.  Until now, the things that hybridized into this Boston glum-folkie included old PJ Harvey records, ‘90s good-girl-folk and mellow goth. But Nadler’s latest thing involves hooking up her finger-plucked acoustic guitar and Laura Marling-like voice (imagine your typical bug-eyed dorm-mate with a few Florence Welch-like power-moves) with the blissed-out extreme-metal inclinations of Southern Lord fixture Randall Dunn (SunnO))); Wolves in the Throne Room). Naturally, since the randomness of all this is so over-the-top, the obvious move is to kick off the record with a ghostly, angelic, arguably upbeat tune (“Drive,” and there’s even some slide guitar in there in case you still didn’t feel safe).  Ominous, surfy, fatalistic bliss slowly begins creeping in with “1923,” the second track, and from there on, it’s a clinic on Nadler’s faraway, detached weirdness, conjuring Kate Havnevik dipped in Deafheaven sauce, the only minor deviation coming at the Smoke Fairies-like “Anyone Else.”  B — Eric W. Saeger





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