I reviewed the most recent Hiss Golden Messenger album back in March, liked it a lot and concluded, "Whether Hiss Golden Messenger is whooping it up country style or slinking and slithering in a late-night approximation of Stax-ish soul, there’s a directness in its attack. These songs don’t refer to certain styles of music, they embody them, contradict them, warp them and, in the process, breathe life into them. If that’s what scares all those people with their folk guitars, I’d say bring it on."
So now I'm on the Hiss Golden Messenger list, I guess, and I recently received a reissue of the band's 2009 Bad Debt, a bit sparer, a bit more single-mindedly country folk, and also, really, quite powerful. There's an early version of "The Serpent Is Kind (Compared to Man)" (also on Haw), and, you know, I find this stuff geekily interesting. The older one is a bit murkier, less buoyant, noticeably less clearly produced, but also maybe a little more attuned to the darkness in this song...it is, after all, about not trusting other human beings.
Not that MC Taylor is exactly Mr. Happytimes, now, but I think he's a shade more ominous on Bad Debt.
Here's a not-really-a-video of "Balthazar" from Bad Debt.
The record will be out (again) on Paradise of Bachelors January 14, 2014...making it the first record of next year yet to be mentioned here. So yes, I suppose I have signed up for another year.