A Bullet for Fidel's debut, Cold Before Morning, is comprised of 12 selections recorded over a span of two years (1993-1995), and picked out of a pool of 60 songs. The group is really just one person, Brian DiPlacido, who writes, sings, plays, and produces just about everything you hear on the album (although he does get additional help on two tracks). DiPlacido's songs can be compared to Roky Erickson's quieter, more sane numbers, although he opts for stark compositions stripped down to the basics (with elements of Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison included as well). He also sings with raw, genuine passion on the tracks "A Heart's Desire," "Rain and Snow," and "It's Cold (Where the Lovers Lie)," which could not possibly be faked. His heartfelt sincerity is only intensified when joined by other musicians, such as on the track "The Very Last Day of Fall," where bass, drums, and an additional guitar join in. The back cover of the album features a snapshot of a barren, snow-covered road in a small town, which puts all of the album's loneliness and desperation into perspective. A Bullet for Fidel's Cold Before Morning is the ultimate lesson in economy. Not one unnecessary instrument is used, which proves that classic bare-bones music can still thrive in this technoid day and age.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato