Rhythm & Views 

The Black Heart Procession

Repeat listening is required to "get" this band's music. Once you do, though, it clicks together, and you're along for the ride through the rising and falling action, the joy and pain and the anger and love in frontman Pall Jenkins' haunted compositions and tortured vocals.

In many ways, this CD is the missing link between Greg Dulli's cathartic and dense rock confessions and Nick Cave's macabre fever-dream blues. That doesn't preclude a little Stonesy swagger, nor a little Euro-Goth posturing á la These Immortal Souls--all elements that can be moving in judicious amounts.

One of the treats inherent in Jenkins' tunes is that although they are definitely testaments to anguish, the source of that tumult is often left ambiguous, making the songs seem both timeless and universal.

Some listeners will be reminded of Tindersticks, as many of the songs feature dark cabaret-style moods conjured by piano and violin to reinforce a mood of decay in tracks such as "The Letter." In it, Jenkins sings, "In the letter that I wrote / were the words I never spoke / this is why I can't come home." It's simple yet devastating.

The funereal dirge of "Return to Burn"--which as the sixth of 11 tracks is the album's centerpiece, chronologically and thematically--uses lap-steel moans, mournful piano chords and distant, hollow drums as the ideal setting for a paean to stagnation and, in turn, renewal through fire.

More by Gene Armstrong

  • Primer

    Tony Furtado
    • May 29, 2014
  • Wills Meets Reinhardt

    L.A.'s Cow Bop blends bebop and Western swing into a superbly danceable combo
    • May 22, 2014
  • Learning From Lennon

    Nothing personal, Paul McCartney. Bill Frisell started playing John Lennon's music by accident
    • May 15, 2014
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

University Blvd. becoming Holiday Blvd. through Jan. 3

Children’s Museum reopening Nov. 11

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2020 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation