This is the second album from Our Dead Fathers and the name is taken from the scriptures, as well as being in tribute to the bands own Dead Fathers and I will be putting some of this through the prism of my dead fathers musical taste.
The album opens with an almost marching band style snare drum intro to On Windowsill that leads into this slow ponderous country blues with yearning vocals and some nice simple guitar and bass but that snare drum sound remains central to the songs core. My own Dead Father's comment on this song would probably be on the lines of "Turn that rubbish down, where's the melody."
Our Dead Fathers is slow plangent love letter to a dearly departed dad and the influence he had on the singer, for me this needs to be clouded in either cigar or pipe smoke to get dad's atmosphere right while sipping a glass of vodka and lime, this reminds me a bit of Curse Of Lono or the records Geoff Farina and Chris Brokaw made together.
Even Wolves could be beaten by the mighty Orient is not the theme of this song, but well memories of seeing the majestic Wolves side of the early 70's playing against Orient is how I'd relate this title to my dad, this is slow and ponderous like they are playing for a 0-0 draw afraid to make the first move.
Spells feels rather elegiac and sad like they are trying to re-work Song To The Siren while feeling like a sad farewell with the sparse and careful percussion accentuating almost everything in the lyrics.
Damage is like your holding a shattered plate that has been carefully reconstructed and hoping it doesn't fall apart again over sparse instrumentation and a very early hours of the morning ruminating sound of despair for some of the damage you might associate with your Dead Fathers dying confession.
Mystery Rider for dad like for me would be a punter who really hasn't got a clue where they want to go, which is nothing like this song, that has a pretty clear direction towards the quieter end of what Chris Stapleton has been doing in recent years, this is baleful and downbeat but never downtrodden.
This Smoke would have been dad's theme song as he was almost never without a smoke during waking hours, be it cigarettes, a pipe or cigars, this has the feel of a late night beating of the retreat with the drums as ever on this album as almost the central instrument, as the western guitars gently adorn the lyrics as you deeply inhale on that old cheroot and try not to get ash all over your clothes again.
Circles has an almost hymnal feel to the organ as the plaintive vocals come in with feeling of regrets at the passing of time and for me an inability to drive round both the inner and outer circles of Regents Park with dad once more as he points out where the shenanigans usually take place after closing time, while he asks what they were trying to say with the instrumental outro.
Behind The Eyes has vocals that almost seem to be going for a Thom Yorke type thing as this very stripped back song asks what they can see Behind The Eyes and in my dad's case it would probably be the flashbacks to growing up in the middle of the Blitz, that would be denoted by the guitar solo that feels like a jet engine going across the speakers, before everything falls away to something like peace again.
The album closes with Ship Is Sinking that is as good and evocation of the state of the so called United States as you could wish for, it reminds me a bit of Israel Nash as the dying of a ideal becomes more apparent and dad would want to argue about if it's an accordion or a squeeze box we can hear on this song.
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