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Dan Melchior

Fire Breathing Clones on Cellular Phones

(Plastic Records; US: 25 Jul 2006; UK: Available as import)

Smart but primitive

Poet, painter, novelist and punk garage-ist extraordinaire Dan Melchior harnesses wickedly smart lyrics to scorching blues rock riffs. A card-carrying member of primitive rock’s Mensa chapter, Melchior shares the incandescently minimalism of collaborators Billy Childish and Holly Golightly. Raw, smoking and crusted with fuzz, these songs smell of liquor and stunted expectations. Still, there’s a reviving sense of humor embedded in cuts like “On the Ledge”, an insouciant Latin shuffle underlying lyrics like “If ... you see me on the ledge / I’m not going to jump / I’m just looking ‘round.” Or, in “A Poet’s Life”, one of the disc’s most exuberant and headlong rockers, Melchior sounds almost joyful as he chants, “It’s a poet’s life / a poet’s life for me / zero recognition / and lots of poverty.” Longer cuts like “(Just Plain) Goodbye” and “Hellhole” hint at the hedonistic pleasures of Melchior’s live show, using brief songs as a jumping off point for hallucinatory guitar solos.  Great stuff.

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