DIVINE HORSEMEN: Hot Rise of an Ice Cream Phoenix: CD

Jan 05, 2022

Chris D. seems to have suffered and communicated four full decades of honest torment. Everything he’s done since that first Flesh Eaters album (that I’ve heard, anyway) seems like it’s been written in the midst of some kinda fever dream where his soul is always five-eighths of the way to eternal damnation (I support this assertion by noting that if you go thru this album’s lyric booklet, you have to get six songs deep before finding a tune that doesn’t include the word “Hell,” “devil,” “inferno,” or “flames”). Whereas AC/DC wrote about a Highway to Hell that was a headbanging road trip, Chris D’s highway to a similar locale seems more like the kind of place where you’d have non-stop diarrhea in the ill-ventilated truck stop bathroom. As for the music, I’ve never liked Neil Young, but I dig this album’s lead-off track, “Mystery Writers,” because it provokes the same ill-at-ease feeling as “Mr. Soul” by Buffalo Springfield. Go figure. It also has that thick, Gun Clubby sound with which one could caulk a boat, were one so inclined. I like how Chris D’s voice works together with Julie Christensen’s throughout the album, not so much because their voices sound particularly good together (they kinda don’t), but because it reminds me of those disturbing double-tracked vocals on No Questions Asked. Eleven of this album’s thirteen (ta-da!) tracks break the four-minute mark; as a result, things wear out their welcome well before track thirteen. Then again, if you have D.J. Bonebrake as your drummer, things’ll never get truly abhorrent. Your call. BEST SONG: “Handful of Sand.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Ice Cream Phoenix.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The oud on “Stony Path” is played by Bobby Permanent. –Rev. Nørb (In The Red, intheredrecords.com)

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