Vic Chesnutt, Elf Power and the Amorphous Strums – Dark Developments
What an LP! Right from the brilliant cover artwork through a set of stellar tracks, I’m struggling to find any fault with Chesnutt’s latest release. Actually, sod it, there’s no fault to be found. Similar in tone and mood to what Michael Gira’s up to at the moment, Dark Developments carries a real punch.
The album plays (and indeed sounds) like a set of Gothick campfire ballads. And although there’s a great deal of spark and venom in the delivery, the record never becomes become maudlin or bitter. There’s a lightness of touch on acerbic rants like Little Fucker and that keep things incredibly appealing, dare I say it funny?
Elsewhere, there’s some top pop; (And How and last track Phil the Fiddler) balanced by some quite brilliant reflective lo-fi soul (Mad Passion of the Stoic). Despite the maudlin moments, even in the latter track, the band sounds like it’s having an absolute gas.
You really need to hear this.
Words: Richard Foster