Suffering and the Hideous Thieves

Ashamed

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Imagine if Nick Cave were less entranced with the horror-stricken depths of his own voice and if the Bible were more to him than a source from which to plunder striking lyrical imagery. The result might sound something like Jason Suffering (oh please, please, say that that's his real last name) and his band. Sonically, Suffering's songs are raw but not especially harsh, and are often quite spare without ever sounding stark. Sometimes, as on the surprisingly pretty "Dora," they're written in waltz time; sometimes, as on the attractively weird "Don't You Stop Believing," they involve elegantly quirky vocal effects; and sometimes, as on the clanky "Sleeping," they're instrumentals. Lyrically, this guy seemingly has got emotional problems, spiritual quandaries, and a deeply strange sense of humor. Only Jason Suffering would tack the word "honey" onto the end of a couplet like "You will know what it's like to die alone/When all hope is lost within," and when he talks about the blood "running straight to me," you can be pretty sure that it's not a typo.

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