Review of Catacombs Album by Cass McCombs

Review of Cass McCombs album Catacombs released through Domino.

Cass McCombs Catacombs Album

Cass McCombs is a singer songwriter based in LA and whilst he has a relatively cool name, I'm afraid I can't be so enigmatic about his fifth album 'Catacombs'. The album seems chucked together in places and in others it can be quite annoying. On a positive note there are sparse drops of nice slide guitar and acoustic guitar work on the album, but it's not enough to hold up the album on its own.

The opener 'Dreams Come True Girl' starts off with a pleasant mellow beat, McCombs vocals enter with an inoffensive sixties flavour, simple lyrics, so not too bad I suppose. The song however never really builds up to anything and its over five minutes long. This is then followed by a truly irritating song called 'Prima Donna' which feels like the lyrics were written independently from any form of music or melody, stretching the title to fit the timing. A stab at a current hot potato of a topic, Politics, also ends much like a car crash in 'Don't Vote'. Cass McCombs seems to have tried to adopt a story telling approach to his writing, like greats such Dylan or Cash, but the lyrics have no cajones and the music has a disinterested sound.

When we come to 'My Sister, My Spouse' I am left feeling a bit nervous. things perk up slightly with the slightly electric 'Jonesy Boy' but not enough to make me want to carry on listening to the rest of album. I did though and the last track 'One Way To Go' could only go one way really.

I have to admit that I am very fair when it comes to music, whatever style it is, I will give it several listens if I don't like it just to make sure I don't like it, or to find something I do. Cass got four or five listens and each time I couldn't find anything enjoyable about the album. Either I don't get this album, and feel free to tell me if I don't, or it's just a pile of jumbled, disjointed music which lacks thought, melody and substance.

Rating 3/10

Pablo Roffey

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