MEDICTATION: Warm Places: LP/CD

Medictation, a collaboration between ex-members of The Sainte Catherines and Leatherface, offers up a bittersweet listening experience with Warm Places. On one hand, it serves as a posthumous release of Dickie Hammond’s final work. It also allows for a celebration of that man’s talent and influence. Obviously the album is not all about one man, but it took me half a dozen plays before I could get beyond trying to identify anything other than his input. There is a relaxed—and at times sombre—feel to a lot of the tracks with Hugo Mudie showing that his voice is the perfect fit for that tone. However, his input is overshadowed by Hammond who takes up the mic for “Stalingrad,” a song which has more of an Americana quality as he documents the downs of his life and offers a reason why alcohol was such an important part of his existence. It truly is a beast of a track and brings me to the verge of tears each time I hear it. The one surprise I found is in “Saptor Raptor,” which seems to have a dual personality, trading back and forth between being in the same vein as the rest of the album and also fancying itself as an up-tempo Down By Law track. Regardless of the poignancy surrounding this record, it stands on its own two feet as a piece of work and is worth checking out. 

 –Rich Cocksedge (Paper + Plastick)