This is the sophomore album from the charismatic Dave Woodcock and his band of talented reprobates The Dead Comedians. They obviously haven’t read about the difficulty of releasing good 2nd albums, as despite their top notch critically acclaimed debut long player Omaha High Low last year this album is arguably even better and builds the firm base Omaha provided.
Very much a multi genre’d set of songs, Dave’s raw edged voice and Chris Saunders superlative guitar work are delightful constants throughout a roller coaster ride through country, rock and r & b.
A flying start via Coming Apart At Every Seam, a riotous drum driven track with Dave growling his way through some pretty descriptive yet intelligent lyrics.
In contrast the more laid back Dylanesque sounds on Blood Red Hearts are a fave with me, drunken antics encased in a love song is followed by the equally well delivered and wonderfully titled Do I Laugh Now, Or Wait Til Its Gets Funny with the most delicate understated guitar licks.
I Call Your Name is another cracker, regaling the negative effects of drinking and love lost, poignant and a pleasure on the ear.
Perhaps the classic Woodcock track is Sober On St Patricks, a great song in the live set and a knockout album track. Another amusingly derogatively titled song, The Dregs (You And Me) features more breathtaking guitar from Mr Saunders. Bar Room Lights hears Dave parking his growl to sing more melodically in what is another love song against a backdrop of the bar room. The line ‘my reach always exceeds my grasp’ points the way to the inevitable outcome. The fine The Way Back Down is a suitable closer, maintaining the bluesy theme ‘ I’m heading to the bright lights of town, I’ll meet you on the way back down’.
In the same way the genius Leonard Cohen isn’t known for uplifting music likewise Dave Woodcock and the boys like a dirge and more downbeat lyrics but its delivered with such skill and emotion that this album will be a must for many, including yours truly.