Dan Barracuda – Hunter S. Thompson
A lot of people love Hunter S. Thompson’s works and are fascinated by the persona he created for himself. In the way that many people wanted to hang out with Keith Richards, and died trying, a lot of would-be writers modelled their lifestyle on that of the Gonzo writer and have ended up either destitute, a laughing-stock, stuck in an asylum, or all three.
Dan Barracuda channels his love of Thompson and his eccentric methods of encouraging creative thought. These methods, for those unfamiliar, usually involved drinking, taking copious amounts of narcotics, shooting guns, and getting into uncomfortable social situations. However, as the songwriter attempts to do here, Thompson was a man looking for the truth beneath the PR messages. This can be observed in his political reportages and his eternal journey in search of the American dream.
Dan Barracuda’s song is a jazzy excursion complete with a funky bassline and a smokey sax-solo. The lyrics tell the story of Thompson’s trouble-making tendencies from the perspective of a concerned third-party. The song feels like the kind of tune Sheryl Crow, and her collaborators may have penned for her Tuesday Night Music Club, before deciding the drug lingo might be a bit too much for the potential audience the artist was seeking.
Dan Barracuda has got a unique songwriting voice and an interest in exciting, strange, dangerous things. These traits should take him far.
Sound Furies – Novus Ordo Seclorum
Sound Furies sound like the kind of music a psychoanalyst might make right after his patients have left his office. Novus Ordo Seclorum doesn’t exactly make sense to me on a narrative level. But, it feels like it should make sense once conventional logic has been tilted towards an angle and, particularly, if you were to have a distinct interest in birds.
Musically though this is a tad more conventional than my initial description may have let on. It sounds like a 90s alternative-rock band trying to cover by the Birthday Party and getting stuck with a lover of avant-garde music to record the session.
The shrill, pointed vocal tones are quite remarkable in themselves. They make the song feel like some kind of evil incantation meant to lure giant flocks of birds into an offence on an unsuspecting sleepy town.
The final couple of minutes of the song are reserved for a climax of frightening proportions. The conflict remains unresolved with the flanger-acoustic guitar squeezing the last drops of life out of salient Novus Ordo Seclorum.