The Dark Fantastic

Goodbye Crooked Scar

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The Dark Fantastic's second release, Goodbye Crooked Scar, continues the moody, Western sounds of their self-titled debut. But while the first album explored wistful Pink Floyd trips, Goodbye Crooked Scar focuses that psychedelia on hard desert rock with a wholly unique Far Eastern vibe. Jesse Robert's wailing guitar on "Fall to My Knees" is what Ravi Shankar may have sounded like if he had joined Nirvana, and throughout, Mike Elkins' bass haunts the soundscape from underneath. Mark Pickerel sings like Brian Wilson chanting beautiful eulogies for lost loves and lives. This album is filled with trailer parks and deserted highways, wanderers and isolated lovers that never quite connect. "Incident at Desert Aire" provides the violence to the plot: "I didn't mean to hurt nobody/I just sorta lost my head/when I saw her with him/well, everything went red." Things get reflective in the aftermath, with the mournful Neil Young vibe of "When Night Lost Meaning," and Pickerel asks longingly, "Are these eyes forever mine?" Crooked Scar is a lost world of nowhere towns, and in listening you get the idea that none of the denizens will ever really get out. But there's always rock & roll, and with a soundtrack this good, why would they want to leave?

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