The familiar haunt of Reverend Glasseye seems a bit changed
since Happy End And Begin. The prior was pure Dark Carnival
and Circus Sideshow, while Our Lady Of The Twisted Spine shows
an undeniable tilt toward the sights and sounds offered by Slim
Cessna's Auto Club. However, the music seems more influenced by
the Frank Hauser, Jr. days of the Auto Club, with its dark
and stormy mood, and the warble and scream of the very Man himself.
At times, it seems as though the Reverend has stolen his very essence,
obtained in some dark voo-doo ceremony. For all I know, he might be
the man now, his transmogrification complete, obscured only by his
ocular gem and unverifiable affectation as a Man of God.
This album is broader in scope than Happy End And Begin and
offers elements more strictly aligned as traditional Country and Western
than the Rural Sideshow fare that has been this band's part and parcel
in the past. (But fans should fear not; the show's just as weird as
ever.) Their scope is as epic and cinematic as they've always been,
(and with four songs exceeding six minutes they're reaching epic lengths
too) with a melodramatic presentation that suggests a story is being
played out in their tunes and lyrics.
As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Glasseye has adopted some of the styles
of ex-Slim Cessna member Frank Hauser, Jr. whose warble and screams
were one of the more identifiable hallmarks of that band's early
music, and I'm glad to see that style kept alive as I think it suits
this band well. More important is the considerable refinement and
maturation that has taken place between albums. Their music has
achieved greater variety and depth without losing any of its grandiosity,
and that's pretty damn important.
2. God Help You Dumb Boy
3. 17 Lashes
4. The Cold House Hymns
5. Belle's Palsy
6. Mother is a Carpegian
7. Sleep Sweet Countrymen
8. King of Men
9. Oh Lord, Why have you been so Cruel to me?
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