SELF DECAPITATION - Delaney Davidson (Voodoo Rhythm)
Who said the only good thing to come out of New Zealand was Steinlager? Not me. Speight's is OK, too. So there's the obligatory reference out of the way to Delaney Davidson being a globetrotting Kiwi. Cue a sweeping statement that he plays some of the weirdest music you'll hear. Now we're talking.
His sound wouldn't be so strange if you lived in an isolated mid-European mountain village, had Dr Frankenstein been your second cousin or you were into the undertaker hymns of the Dead Brothers, within whose ranks Davidson spent time. "Self Decapitation" is his first solo album in that's the truest sense of the word, with the principal member playing the one-man band role with cameos from occasional guests. It's an intriguing mix of funeral pyre cocktail music, a blend of horn-laden polka romps and jazz-inflected garage twang. And they're just the obvious genres.
There's enough influences here to spin your head faster than Linda Blair in "The Exorcist". Crude and rude rocking' swing ("Dirty Dozen") mixes it with skiffle ("Lackie's Men") and lead-footed swamp blues (the hoary traditional "In The Pines") and it's all over the place in the strangely comforting way only an album on Voodoo Rhythm can. Label honcho Reverend Beat-Man took Delaney along on his last US tour. I'd guess that's one way of ensuring you don't get booked to play kids' theme parks.
"Little Heart" is by far the most conventional song, a quiet country-ish blues with ragged backing vocal and cello. Its pigeon pair is "Homeward Bound", another blues tune with a lilting, plodding feel courtesy of drummer Dan Electro of The Woggles.
Vaguely Central European allusions apart, "Self Decapitation" was recorded in Italy, Germany, New Zealand the the US of A so it's just as hard to pin it down to any one place as style. One to spin on a lazy Sunday morning. - The Barman
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