Thursday, August 8, 2013


At first I assumed by the different spelling of the name Daughn, this would be by a woman.  But seconds into the first track, and the unveiling of the sub-Nick Cave croon, Daughn's a dude.  Anybody who sings in a deep baritone is probably headed down to the wrong side of the tracks, looking to reflect the nasty, seamy bits of life, with a literary bent and occasional romantic view, and that's Gibson's gig for the most part.  But there's also a lot more happening on the music side than the usual bleak rock you'll find.  He ain't no updated Velvet Underground then.

The Pennsylvanian has a varied background, and his debut from last year was built on samples, but this time the programming is augmented by lots of live instruments, including plenty of guitar.  And while the low tones of the singer are the dominate feature, the wide range of music is quite a surprise.  There is dramatic stuff, starting with lead track The Sound Of Law, which begins "My daddy was a beast", drums at machine-gun time and everything fed through the echo-mystery setting.  The finger-snap beat of Phantom Rider accompanies a chapter in the life of two ne'er-do-well's, no doubt up to no good, traveling with a very bad spirit ready to do very bad things.  That number, and follower Mad Ocean recall darker 80's synth days of OMD and such, although I can't recall anybody sampling bagpipes then.  Through everything, there's a country spokesman dying to get out, the American flavour to all of this.  Towards the end, a couple of quite lovely ballads wrap things up, when you realize that Gibson actually has quite a lovely voice when the softer sounds let him emote.  What could be just a modern take on murder ballads ends up a surprisingly creative and musical set.

No comments:

Post a Comment