TOM GABEL: Anna Is a Stool Pigeon: 7”EP

It’s sometimes easy to forget that recorded music’s not that old. That electric instruments took prominence in the 1950s. And that for thousands of centuries, music was acoustic, familial, tribal, and immediate in vicinity. I don’t know if Tom Gabel’s a historian of music, but what I do know is that he has an ageless sensibility on how he approaches his songs. “Dude and guitar” music, more often than not, sucks hard, probably because it’s music at its most bare, and so many musicians mistake over-inflated egos with talent. Sweet lord, Tom Gabel can write and sing a song. These three cuts are him stripped down to the waist: voice, acoustic, friend Chuck Ragan on backups and harmonica on the title track. These recordings are crystalline, personal while remaining universal in intent, and full of protest that’s as much Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen as Crass and Crimpshrine.

 –todd (Sabot)