Feb 22, 2009

Skin Of Evil-Blackout Beach

It has a theme. It has a purpose. It means something and that is important. Even if we do not understand the meaning in full, we know of its heart and of its purpose. Purposeful. That is "Skin Of Evil", the second album from Blackout Beach, which is the solo work of Carey Mercer. Mercer, the man of vivid and vast imagination. A man who catches words in his mouth, swallows them and produces momentous streams of verbs and adjectives and nouns. Mercer, the man who opens doors to territories unknown. Catching honey dripped shards of glass in his bare hands, eating forests of owls and bandicoots. It speaks of another language, but speaks to the heart. With a story in hand and a purpose to inflict beauty.

"Skin Of Evil" tells the story of "Donna" and her past and present lovers. Each lover has a story to tell and so does "Donna". Played and recorded in its entirety by Mercer, this is a spacious record. The music is sparse and stunningly beautiful. In between the cracks we get the stories. The wild and incredible stories. "Cloud Of Evil" is a beautiful opener. Soft drumming and an incessant guitar line float between the aching vocals of Mercer. "I wish the pink flowers away...". "Donna" is the awesome, perfect woman, already dismissing the first of her lovers. It would seem "Donna" is a powerful woman too, one that would have been captured in Greek mythology. "Biloxi, In A Grove, Cleans Out His Eyes" continues the theme of conquered love. This song is stunning, arid and dry, full of import and doom. Read the lyrics and weep, I say. The theme of "Donna" and her men continues through out this stunning piece of music. Each song is its own section of the story. Each song is eerie and quite beautiful. Mercer sings with an understated power here. Whilst I will admit that some of his Frog Eyes vocals can scare off even the most dedicated listener, here he sings with care and tenderness. His voice is still a unique one, but the feelings and the power are undeniable. Mercer sings "I kiss my palm to see if it's awake" with sublime awe on "The Roman" a song that remits stark beauty.

"Skin Of Evil" is a fully realised tapestry of sound and ideas. Of story and strange life. There are amazing moments in abundance here, but none better then the soft and tender "Nineteen, One God, One Dull Star", which features lovely piano and a taste of female backing vocals. As Mercer sings "We shall row into wakes of woe", you might just hear your heart skip a beat. If it didn't, then there is a good chance it will on the sublime closer "Astoria, Menthol Lite, Hilltop, Wave Of Evil, 1982", a song that delivers in full. A song of superb beauty and strong purpose. Be still, my beating heart. Please find this record now. It matters to music in 2009.

MP3: Cloud Of Evil-Blackout Beach


  • At February 22, 2009 , Blogger James said...

    hey Wayne - was just thinking that i have a few leftover emusic downloads to use before the end of the month and what should I get? well, problem solved - thanks for the tip.

    also - was wondering if you got a chance to listen to Soft Black yet? I sent an email over to you last month recommending it. It's a really good record from a dude who lives here in Brooklyn. I can resend some info to you if you want...


  • At February 22, 2009 , Blogger Wayne said...

    Hey James,

    I have listened to Soft Black, but haven't had a chance to listen in great detail as yet. I will try to, but it's sometimes hard to fit everything in.


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