Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Album Review: Dirty Three - Cinder

Dirty Three's seventh album, released in 2005, is a change from previous albums.  The songs are shorter and more plentiful (nineteen tracks!), and are less dominated by Warren Ellis' violin.  Rather it fits into the overall sound.  Two tracks even feature vocals, but more of that later.  Ever Since sets the tone for the album, an almost Morricone, Western feel with Ellis playing less manically but with grace and subtlety.  She Passed Through and Amy drift by very pleasantly before Sad S€xy picks up the tempo a little.  Mick Turner's guitar is perfectly pitched as Ellis' violin grows in intensity throughout the track.

Cinders' rattling guitars break the momentum a little, but the sprightly The Zither Player brings the album back on track.  It Happened and Too Soon, Too Late have a lazy, on horseback feel, almost like Calexico, while the spooky Great Waves features Cat Power on almost hypnotic vocals, which work pretty well.  Later, Sally Timms of the Mekons performs wordless vocals on Feral, while mixing it up further, Warren Ellis puts down the violin for elegiac piano on Last Dance.

So a fairly atypical Dirty Three album then, but a most enjoyable one.