Smog - Dongs of Sevotion

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2000-04-03

Ludicrous title aside, Bill Callahan's seventh album is no more a barrel of laughs than its predecessors. After the relatively expansive arrangements of 1999's brilliant Knock Knock, Dongs Of Sevotion is something of a return to the relatively sparse and mechanical sound of earlier works, especially the classic Wild Love. The smirking "Dress Sexy At My Funeral" ("wink at the minister / blow kisses to my grieving brothers") is the nearest he gets here to the Velvet Underground-style chug of the last record, while "Bloodflow" shows distinct signs of a jazz influence, and a bass guitar for once. The furious soft/loud dynamic of "Distance" marks a new direction, while "Cold Discovery" continues Callahan's series of studies in self-loathing. Though not as instant as some of his previous work, this repays detailed listening, and, as ever, features one of the smoothest, enveloping voices around. --Steve Jelbert

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