The Dagons

The Other Ending

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Karie Jacobson's voice is like evil hypnosis. From its sludgy bassline to the bizarre cowbell rhythm -- by its very name -- "Last Thing You'll Ever Feel" should send innocent folk running for the hills. But there they are, swaying slightly and drifting toward a pile of amps in the center of a desert clearing. "Walk through me like a ghost/And leave no mark," she sings in her cascading timbre. "At some other time/You had a heart." It's mercilessly unclear whether she's asking or telling. Even if the Dagons' rambling goth pop occasionally rambles right out of focus, the band will always have Jacobson, who can make even the laughable -- "My love is like a chimney sweep" -- sound like it was torn from the Church of Satan newsletter. The Other Ending is strongest at its slowest and most foreboding -- "Changeling," the aforementioned "Last Thing," and "Amaroq," which ends the album on a sort of halting Helium tip. It's as if Mary Timony's dragons were somehow consumed by Jacobson's "Bulgarian Wolf" imagery. The Other Ending's instrumental shortcomings are clear at every dark, shadowy turn. But it's Jacobson's gooey, slithering vocals that keep enticing you to continue on.

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