Don't Let Me Die At Coco's is the kind of record that makes an album reviewer simultaneously rejoice and throw themselves into a grizzly bear's den. In a world where there's entirely too much to do, when we have to work three full-time jobs just to keep up with the rising tide of living expenses, slim four-track EPs are preferable, as you can listen to three of them in an hour and write five reviews in a day.
That's not why I'm in this biz, however. I certainly wouldn't have wasted $20,000 listening to and learning to write about all manner of music if I weren't into it. This is a labor of love for all of us. Lord knows the musicians aren't getting paid either.
Don't Let Me Die At Coco's flies in the face of easily digestible corporate PR formulas - "If you like this, then this...," by incorporating a procession of patron saints of Avant-Rock. Stoney Spring cites Captain Beefheart, Zuma-era Neil Young and even Daniel Johnston as influences, along with modern weirdos like The Mountain Goats and Father John Misty. If you were to add in the haunted junkyard mutant Afro-Caribbean blues of Tom Waits and a bit of Charles Ives' abrasive, conceptual humor, you'd be in the ballpark.
Don't Let Me Die At Coco's was created with a battalion of open-tuned guitars, marimba, even a bit of trombone, while the lyrics cover bizarre topics such as a deaf football player getting his hearing back after suffering a head injury, atheism, finding love in a post-nuclear dystopia and having a meltdown at a chain restaurant in Reno. Whew. It's a lot to even type into a sentence, let alone take in over the course of a pop record.
Pop this is not, however. Stoney Spring rarely succumbs to the Beatles-tested verse-chorus-bridge-chorus-chorus-out formula, instead following its own dream logic. Verses come and go at their own discretion, following their own inner tides and demented whims. It's what it might sound like if Wassily Kandisnky were to write the chord charts for Elvis fronting The Leningrad Cowboys on a set of covers by Woody Guthrie, Sun Ra and The Cramps.
While it can be daunting at first, especially considering Stoney Spring's slightly off-kilter baritone vocals, Don't Let Me Die At Coco's ends up coming across like some weird and wonderful experimental novel with a wide cast of social deviants and derelict geniuses. If Captain Beefheart (RIP) were to pen a song cycle around a collection of Bizarro short fiction, Don't Let Me Die At Coco's is what it might sound like.
I hope this is a sign that music is getting more conceptual, confusing and interesting. It's the end of the year; you can't blame a guy for feeling optimistic.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook