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Album Review: Dorian Wood, 'Rattle Rattle'

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Album Review: Dorian Wood, 'Rattle Rattle'

Crowd-funded through IndieGoGo, “Rattle Rattle” is the latest album by Dorian Wood; An impressive scope for an independent artist clearly creating art for art’s sake on their own terms. Overflowing with impassioned creativity, this is not an album for the faint of heart, or the single hoarders. An avant-garde piece that is more chill-inducing with each listen. Your ears are awakened by the very first notes and are held captive til the very last. Varied in style from western to choral to Baroque to the pure strange, it moves unstoppably like liquid through concrete cracks. The despotic operatic style of “A Gospel of Elephants/Hpssos” slinks maniacally into “The Lady”, which sounds like the voices of the dead crying out from the River Styx as Charon passes by ferrying the newest batch of souls to the underworld. The story-telling continues as a parlour style piano plays underneath the male/female duet (featuring the airy and mysterious vocal stylings of Angela Correa) that moves from sweet to bitterly sour as the thread of undergirded menace continues, this time supported by an ever-building mournful string arrangement. Acting like the soundtrack to a drawing room opera yet to be written, “The Useless Servant” showcases the shimmery tone of Nina Savary’s voice that seems perfectly suited for a re-telling of the original Grimm fairy tales. It is at this point in the record that the darkness fully shrouds. All sweet and tender moments are left behind and traded for pure absurdity and paranoia. Playing out like an even more twisted and disturbed version of The Decemberists’ Hazards of Love, “Rattle Rattle” is an undoubted masterpiece. There is a deep, richly textured story being told amidst the tensely developed instrumentation and sound palette. As the album closes with “O,” the 9 minute epilogue, you are left knowing that the beauty wrapped in tortured frustration unravelling into madness has only begun for this brave artist and his cohorts. This is a poignant and telling work of art that pulls from our uniquely American musical past to parallel our uncertain present. While his poetry may leave you politically unsettled, Wood is exercising his freedom to boldly share his perspective that is at times both nightmarish and delicate, elegant and disturbed, and well worth many undivided listens. Stream the entire album from bandcamp below. - Jacqueline Caruso

Published: April 09, 2013 |

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