San Francisco maverick's sixth compelling album
The shocking thing about Richard Buckner’s latest isn’t its low-key magisterial elegance, which is always a hallmark of this fiercely individualistic songwriter. It’s that, rather than mimic his intense noise-rock/punk stage show of recent times, Dents And Shells essentially comes on as Impasse II, unassumingly echoing his 2002 album’s obtuse, impressionistic, non-linear songwriting. As ever, Buckner’s dense, elliptical melodies and bits of whispered wisdom, given half a chance, will get under your skin and put you in a darkly meditative state. Best song: the hypnotic “Her”, which, like his best material, is no more concrete than a long, late-afternoon shadow.