Dale Morningstar

I Grew up on Sodom Road

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Dale Morningstar, of Canadian indie rockers the Dinner Is Ruined, offers a collection of off-kilter and fumbling folk-pop on his solo debut. While certainly nowhere near as obtuse as Jandek, Morningstar nonetheless glories in a warped and haphazard approach to instrumentation and a vocal pitch that shows a slight nod to the cult Texan recluse. Morningstar does craft actual songs, however (unlike Jandek), that are often swamped in Americana influences. There are clear strains of Delta blues here, albeit the hobbled, jagged kind that calls to mind Captain Beefheart. In fact, Morningstar actually measures up as a fairly coherent (if weird and quirky) iconoclast in the vein of Tom Waits with this album. Particularly compelling are his production flourishes (he is a quite successful producer in Canada), especially his vocal treatments on several songs and the sampler-and-drum-machine-driven suite "If Mr. President Had a Brain." Overall this is a twisted yet enjoyable set with plenty of well-aimed stabs at humor.

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