CD, Hymen, 2003
Subtitled “21st century ballads for the discerning and the disturbed”, the latest offering from Australian David Thrussell (also responsible for the noise project Black Lung) is an album of protest songs and ballads, rather reminiscent of legends of the genre like Bob Dylan and Barry MacGuire.
The overall tone of the album is overly critical and political with extremely good lyrics, the themes of which range from the metaphorical to the quite explicit and from introspection to grim reminders of the realities of this world.
Musically speaking, it’s a very functional and well-produced hybrid of traditional country/blues instrumentation and arrangements with background electronica melodies and the occasional industrial/noise-distortion, as well as some orchestral and choir work. David Thrussell’s voice is very adequate to this kind of music, the vocal work being smooth and clear with the occasional sandpapery touch.
Among a crop of excellent material, a few songs are worthy of particular mention. “Fill My Hole” stands out as an introspective reflection of one’s self and inner emptiness, while “Justified Homicide” goes the way of suggesting how do away violently and methodically with some of the grievances of modern society as well as some of the people responsible. “Welcome To Adelaide” is a dystopian horror, despite the initial cheer and happiness of the song, and one may begin to wonder if one isn’t in hell and if Satan isn’t “The Master”. In any case, since it seems that it’s all shot to hell, maybe one would better off laying back and enjoying the ride while waiting for the world to end as suggested in “Waiting”.
Have a nice day.
— Miguel de Sousa