Album review

White Hassle - The Death Of Song

Curious beast, this. Starts off on a Misunderstood/Stooges tip ("She's Dead") before the choppy chug of Ron Asheton-like guitar morphs into a brief Strokes flurry ("Health Food Store") and sets up camp in mutated doo-wop, surf and '50s rock'n'roll. Singer Marcellus Hall—who, along with drummer Dave Varenka, was previously in indie heroes Railroad Jerk—sounds all Bobby Darin one moment, Gordon Gano the next. An unlikely cover of The Hollies' "The Air That I Breathe" only heightens the wonder that it all bleeds together so well. All done in little over a half-hour, it even touches on the anti-folk scuffle of Major Matt Mason with the 'hidden' title track.

Rating: 3 / 10


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Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...