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CD Review: Cass McCombs - "Dropping the Writ"

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Artist: Cass McCombs
Album: Dropping the Writ
Label: Domino Records
Release Date: 10/23/07

Listen to "That's That":

Frequent tourer Cass McCombs came through LA this last fall but if you missed him you will have a chance to see him again in '08 as his tour schedule is posted and expanding. Dropping the Writ is inspired by a short stretch of time that McCombs spent living in Los Angeles from '05-'06 and it was recorded at Hot Pie Studios in Pasadena.

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This album is very well put together and for you fans of singer-songwriters, it's definitely another winner. Because of its bombastic intro and forceful marching rhythm, the opening song, "Lionkiller", has been criticized by some reviewers as too "arty" and "loud" but it's one of the songs I really enjoyed on this record because it actually had some real balls. All instrumentation sounds fantastic on this release, but it seems that these singer-songwriter types never get bored of creating vast choruses and harmonies of their own voices ("Crick In My Neck", "Morning Shadows", "Windfall", etc.). Other than that degree of self-indulgence, I did enjoy some of these songs very much, even the Simon & Garfunkel-esque "Deseret", and especially "That's That" (listen above).

Some have likened Dropping the Writ to the work of Lindsay Buckingham and Sondre Lerche, but since I'm relatively unversed in this kind of delicately intimate and self-iconoclastic music, I can't really confirm that or not. Listen to the track above or listen to "Lionkiller" on the December LAist Music Medley (to be posted later today) and see how you feel about it. As usual, if you like an artist, buy their music to support them.