cory branan Adios (CD, £12.50)label: bloodshot
"Adios" is Cory Branan's death record. Not the cheeriest of openings, but like all of Branan's mercurial work, it's probably not what you think. As funny and defiant as it is touching and sad, this self-dubbed "loser's survival kit" doesn't spare its subjects or the listener. Never a genre loyalist, Branan's trademark lyrical agility is mirrored sonically as Adios finds Branan colouring outside the lines in all shades of fuzz and twang, much like his musically restless heroes Elvis Costello and Tom Waits. From the Buddy Holly-esque rave-up of 'I Only Know' (sung with punk notables Laura Jane-Grace of Against Me and Dave Hause), through the swampy 'Walls, MS' to the Costello-like new wave of 'Visiting Hours,' to the blistering punk of 'Another Nightmare," the tonal shifts are always deliberate and not just simple genre hopping: while the turns can be jarring, you can trust Branan to take you somewhere unexpected.
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