And so the DCFC misery bus grinds ever onward. With their two albums to date, the London-based reprobates displayed an exhaustive knowledge of rock’s lexicon of hate, lugging everything from [a]Nick Cave[/a]-shaped blues to scowling Stooges riff-o-ramas to their troubled party. And now, funeral garb in place and worry beads nimbly poised, mini-album ‘Stranger Blues‘ adds another glum dimension to their already over-anguished oeuvre.
While previous tracks such as the devotional ‘Steal Away‘ proved they could wrestle more sensitive demons while maintaining a bruised dignity, new attempts at covering similar ground are badly misjudged. The traditional hymn ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine‘, for one, is reduced to a hilariously sombre, sub-Tindersticks wreck, while John Cale‘s cracked paean to isolation ‘Close Watch‘ is so doused in heavy-handed piety it’s like having Cadfael tell you off for not washing behind your ears.
Such tutting self-righteousness sits awkwardly with the Club‘s wilfully shocking imagery – a baffling dichotomy that allows Jon Spencer-ish rocker ‘Another Ones Skin‘ to boast the charming triptych, [I]”Liver sick complexions/Atrophied limbs/Effluvial erections”[/I] while delivering a sermon-like morality tale about a small-town murder. It’s this confusion that, beyond their arbitrary eclecticism and comically bleak outlook, renders DCFC ultimately useless: po-faced rebels with neither cause nor clue.