Pat MacDonald

Troubadour of Stomp

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Onetime Timbuk 3 frontman Pat MacDonald has always been a bit of an iconoclast and outsider, scoffing over the years at commercial offers to sell out the rights to his former band's signature hit "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades," and opting instead to follow his own personal muse after the end of that unit, and the end of his personal and professional partnership with Barbara K. MacDonald. There is something flat-out spooky, scary and murky about MacDonald's Troubador Stomp, though. You can hear it in the gutbucket growl of his guitar and the hollow reverb of his voice. "The Governor" rattles along ominously like some kind of dark collision of metal and swamp blues, while "Bridge Hater Son" is a stormy blast of psychobilly. There is something relentlessly dark and cinematic (yet not disingenuously dramatic) about MacDonald's vision here; "Shake Well" even tilts toward Marilyn Manson territory with its somber grind and dark intonation: "You sharpen the cutlery/You laid out the feast/You served up our marriage as a meal for the beast." On "This Band Sucks" MacDonald sarcastically adopts a falsetto vocal tone somewhere in the register of Mick Jagger on "Emotional Rescue," funkily purring atop the deep, dark, booty-shaking chug of guitar. This startlingly original album may not be for everyone, but it certainly establishes MacDonald as a true enigma.

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