Carmaig DeForest

Death Groove Love Party

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During the late '80s and early '90s when Carmaig DeForest didn't feel like working solo, the loosely assembled group of New York and West Coast musicians called Carmaig DeForest's Death Groove Love Party would serve as the songwriter's backing band. The outfit had many lineups that consistently served up a bed of swanky rock noise that blended nicely with DeForest's anarchic folk-punk. Recorded at various locations between 1988 and 1993, this 12-song semi-eponymous compilation is surprisingly cohesive. Death Groove Love Party is more traditionally arranged then many of the songwriter's ukulele-powered recordings and live performances. Reverberating guitars and pulsing drums fuel noisier moments like "Paula Walks" and "Million Dollar Bash," and a whiff of gritty urban country exudes nicely on the calmer moments of "Bend Down Low" and "One More Time," the latter echoing the strange folk/punk simplicity of DeForest admirers and touring mates the Violent Femmes. A true accomplishment, Death Groove Love Party showcases the lyricism and imagination of one of the great cult artists of the '80s and 90s with deft performances and all the appropriate abandon.

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