3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Pitchblack and beautiful,
This review is from: North Star Deserter (Audio CD)
"We were young, we were free, we were wild as the weeds" Chesnutt sings at the end of the eight-plus minute magnum opus 'Splendid' before giving way to a haunting guitar motif and repeating "we did everything we could" until you wonder who he is speaking to, the listener or himself. His voice is original, soulful and full of promise one minute and despair the next. His songs are caustic, claustrophobic, emotion filled slices of dark Americana, as beautiful as they are sad.
Phantom guitar tones echo around Chesnutt's smooth acoustic playing, furnishing his arrangements with occasional bursts of heavy feedback or searing sound effects which perfectly underscore the mood of each song. The closest comparison I can think of is the sampling of Soft Machine on Syd Barrett's 'Madcap Laughs' record. This is outsider art on that level, If you are a fan of something in the same vein as 'Neutral Milk Hotel's 'Airplane over the sea' or the second 'Meat Puppets' record you are certainly in the right place.
'Everything I say' is for me, the standout track. You won't have heard anything like it, as Vic flits from sparse, country-inflexed singing to a scream of pain and rage that brings instantly to mind Kurt Cobain covering Leadbelly in New York. 'Debriefing' is equally impressive with its foreboding drum beat and wailing, angry guitar histrionics. The song climaxes in a concussive blast of feedback as the drums march you towards what sounds like a wall of homicidal guitars.
As Vic affirms on 'Over' "it sucks when its over. You can't get it back. Why do we want to? Like a pack of necrophiliacs" A typical lyrical aside, both poignant and asinine. Moving and malicious. Part alternative rocker, part traditional country singer. He was however, totally original and a serious talent that deserves to be listened to. Time and again.