As 50 per cent of [a]Tendrils[/a], [B]Joel Silbersher[/B] bestows instant kudos upon [B]'Soaking Red'[/B]....More on
As you'd expect with protagonists declaring such estimable Oz-rock credentials, and the additional presence of Dirty Three drummer Jim White, [a]Tendrils[/a] believe nerves exist to be frayed. "Wake again to the pillow soaking red", avers Silbersher on an opening title track which asserts the album's primary characteristics: tales of lives gone violently awry, set to elusive, near-impressionistic folkadelic orchestration. Organs proffer a narcotic balm, while guitars are picked with pointed economy, like the jibes of an estranged friend.
The key to our empathy lies with Silbersher's voice, a hoarse upper-middle register croon. Imagine a rawer, more malevolent Elliott Smith - or alternatively, the Richard Thompson to Smith's Nick Drake. "Damn your life and dim your eyes", he spits on the stand-out 'Hands Are Tied', "and hope that one of us knows we're alive".
Humour is not exempted - there's a song called 'The Prune In Heat', while 'Raw Feeling' sounds unconscionably like Sting - but overall the tone is one of brooding, appalling beauty.
With 'Soaking Red', these outback bluesmen have concocted a formidable episode of Australian Gothic.
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