Cass McCombs – ‘Big Wheel And Others’

No concept, but its half brilliant

Beyond the fact that it contains 19 songs (plus three interludes featuring an inane but quite sweet chat with a small boy), there’s nothing stylistically ‘double album’ about this double album. No sprawling space odyssey theme, no acoustic flipside; just lots and lots of Cass McCombs songs. Which, in theory, is no bad thing – and indeed, the slide guitar-drenched ‘Angel Blood’ is McCombs at his hypnotic, country-downbeat best. But things tail off to the extent that shuddery second-half tracks such as ‘Honesty Is No Excuse’ just sound unfinished, and the listening process becomes an editing process. Turn it off halfway through and it’s brilliant.

Jamie Fullerton