Cass McCombs - Wit's End - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Cass McCombs - Wit's End

by Rory McKeown Rating:4 Release Date:2011-04-11

Californian alt-folk king Cass McCombs follows up 2009's splendid Catacombs with Wit's End - a mature, brooding effort that requires the will power of a recovering alcoholic in a brewery to get through without questioning your sanity.

While the enigmatic troubadour's previous album was one of optimism, featuring the sublime 'Dream Come True Girl' and the equally-buoyantly titled 'You Saved My Life', Wit's End has more reason for concern with song titles such as 'The Lonely Doll', 'Buried Alive' and 'Hermit's Cave'. Opener 'County Line' is driven by sickly-sweet 70s-style keyboard lines, while McComb's croons of "You never tried to love me/ What did I have to do to make you want me?" almost steer it into Barry Manilow b-side territory. 'The Lonely Doll', possibly the album's most accessible inclusion, is a breezy lullaby but unfortunately suffers from the album's low pulse syndrome. Sadly, the haunting 'Saturday Song' and painfully monotonous 'Hermit's Cave' follow a similar formula, but the compelling 'Memory's Stain' provides a rare high point - albeit an exhausting one.

Cliché, but Wit's End will leave you at the end of your tether.

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