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neumu
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 
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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

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artist
Cruachan Featuring Shane MacGowan
recording
Ride On
Hammerheart
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Let's suppose that your mother disappeared under cover of night when you were young. If you hadn't seen her for years, and you'd always wondered where she'd gone, and then you ran into her in some unusual place — selling raffle tickets at the local mall, say, or preaching Krishna Consciousness on a street corner — well, you wouldn't hold it against her, would you? Of course you wouldn't. You'd throw your arms around her and you'd cry on her shoulder. "Mom, Mom," you'd sob. "I thought we'd lost you."

Chances are good that you don't know who Cruachan are, or that there's an Irish branch of the metal scene that tries to meld Great-Wall-of-China-sized riffs with traditional Irish folk music. That's all right. All you need to know is that Shane MacGowan, former vocalist for The Pogues and one of the finest singers to ever channel the muse, sings on their new EP. MacGowan, whose struggles with drink and darker spirits are legendary, vanished from view after making The Crock of Gold, the second album by his post-Pogues band The Popes. He's since made an appearance here and there, but outside of Ireland he's been nearly impossible to find. Those familiar with his rumored exploits half-expected never to hear from him again, or to hear only the dreadful news one dreads hearing of one's addicted friends. His long absence represents a real loss to music, as MacGowan possesses a genuinely unique and marvelous voice; he can write lyrics of stunning beauty and wit when he feels like it.

Somehow or other MacGowan has come into contact with the Dublin-based folk-metal band Cruachan. What Cruachan do is quite interesting, fusing Irish reels to head-banging hard rock — the EP's closing number, "To Hell or to Connaught," recalls the late, great Gun Club in its post-punk dissonance and desperate, driving rhythm — but "Ride On" could feature its title track alone followed by 20 minutes of total silence and it'd still be an essential purchase. Written by Irish folk singer Christy Moore, "Ride On" leads off here with some tin-whistle; a cello and a muted rhythm section come in, and Cruachan full-timer Karen Gilligan ably sings its first verse. When the chorus comes around, Shane MacGowan begins singing: "Ride on/ See you/ I could never go with you/ No matter how I wanted to," and then you might as well stick a fork in those of us who loved the Pogues, because we're done. He sings the next verse all by himself; his phrasings are tossed-off, somewhat sloppy, and completely perfect. Time has not diminished his rare, matchless gift for finding where a song's heart lies and crashing into it like a wave against a rock wall. MacGowan is also listed as co-producer, though one suspects that his role involved more talking than knob-twiddling. It doesn't matter. Nothing matters. For a verse and a chorus, the Voice is back. It punches all the buttons it used to punch. It may even have gotten sharper. It's so good it hurts. Yes, indeed. Shane, Shane. We thought we'd lost you.


by John Darnielle




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