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MP3 Jim Clements & The Right To Die - When The Saints Go
Macabre, witty, and melodic Americana, with songs about saints, silent-film actresses, body disposal, religious visions, the difficulty of picking up in bars, and one number sung from the perspective of a fish.
11 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Alt-Country, ROCK: Americana
After a three-year interlude of growing, regressing, and procrastinating, Jim Clements has returned to deliver on the promise of his 2004 debut album, Kill Devil Hills, with a new band, The Right To Die, and a new album, entitled When The Saints Go. The new release is a loose concept album, which means that about half the record is conceptually structured around saints, religious visions, miracles, and the like, while the other half of the record is conceptually structured around other things, such as how hard it is to pick up in bars, and the complexities of body disposal.
Highlights of the record include St. Louise, a gypsy ode to troubled silent film star Louise Brooks, St. Christopher’s Traveling Blues, in which the recently decanonized patron saint of road trips fires off a bitter warning to ‘those boys in Rome,’ and Visions of Jehovah, a lilting Beatle-esque piano-led duet between a woman suffering from unwelcome religious visions (“How can I lie on the beach when he’s in each grain of sand?”), and her jealous priest.
Finally with a dream band to call his own, Jim was able to throw off the shackles of ProTools and home recording, and embrace a more 1970’s audio verite approach. With the help of producer Chris D’Adda, the band spent three cigarette and whiskey-fuelled days in the country, managing to record eleven new songs live off the floor on vintage gear with the only substantial overdubs being Dean Drouillard’s slide guitar on St. Christopher, and Gene Hardy’s haunting singing saw on The Bottom Feeders. It sounds like those old records; y’know, the one’s you like.
Jim Clements & The Right To Die is a five-piece Americana outfit, comprised of two Brits, two Canadians, and, for authenticity’s sake, one American, who have been performing with great regularity and punctuality in the UK for nearly a year. They are: Maya Ahuja (Violin), Jim Clements (Guitar, Vocals), Richard Clements (Drums), David Gooblar (Bass), and Lucy Jordan (Piano, Organ). They like Wilco, Neil Young, The Decemberists, Okkervil River, Bob Dylan, Bright Eyes, and Nick Cave, but they mostly listen to Neil Diamond when no-one’s watching.
Reviews of "When The Saints Go"
Almost immediately, even during the opening refrains, I sensed that ''When The Saints Go'' by Jim Clements & The Right To Die was gonna be something quite special. Don''t ask me why, I just knew that this album was gonna be quite unlike anything else I''ve heard for donkey''s trousers! Believe me, I wasn''t wrong and I defo wasn''t disappointed!!
Jim Clements & The Right To Die specialise in a musical genre that''s hard to describe; it''s a sort of gypsy/indie/nu-folk kinda thing - sort of folksy-blue Nick Cave meets Dylanesque Country Joe McDonald - hard-edged, dark, poetic story-telling set to wondrously sympathetic acoustic biased music. That''s as close I can get to putting in words what this excellent band is about! Whatever, ''When The Saints Go'' is a superbly composed and stunningly executed album that seems to be a bi-conceptual work; two halves telling two distinctly different but equally absorbing stories - I think!!!
''When The Saints Go'' is dark but somehow never really ''haunting''. Clements & Co seem to be able to portray dark but make it feel nothing less than acceptably vibrant - this they appear to do through a mixture of great, mature writing and sensitively understated but passionately expressive playing. The end result is genuinely brilliant and although maybe not totally commercial in the true sense, it''s certainly as cultishly viable as even the most successful and globally accepted works of Cave, Waits and other similarly ilked artists. Jim Clements & The Right To die show that the lyrically macabre can be lifted and lightened by quality, expansive musical composition and well thought out instrumental atmospherics. These ''guys'' work as a well prepared, closely knit team and their experienced professionalism and ''oneness'' combined with massive musical creativity bring new hope to an all-too-often mundane musical era - Jim Clements & The Right To Die are like a cool, life-saving oasis in a barren and parched musical desert.
''When The Saints Go'' by Jim Clements & The Right To Die is simply superb - refreshing and innovative - quality from conception to delivery - nothing short of brilliant!!
Peter J Brown aka toxic pete (https://www.tradebit.com)
(Rhythm & Booze rating 10)
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