Hiss Golden mes­sen­ger

Hal­lelu­jah Any­how

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff -

Hiss Golden Mes­sen­ger are ba­si­cally M.C. Tay­lor and as­sorted friends. This na­tive Cal­i­for­nian has be­come a lead­ing Amer­i­cana voice in the last decade, al­chemis­ing his love for The Byrds, The Bea­tles, Dy­lan, Van Mor­ri­son and Neil Young. The style he’s ar­rived at al­most makes burn­ing ef­fi­gies of this past, ris­ing out of its ashes with singed, heady con­vic­tion. Mu­si­cally, though, he can’t fly free of his debts.

The smooth sax­o­phone and inar­tic­u­late scat vo­cal in John The Gun nods ex­plic­itly to Van. So, prob­a­bly, does Domino (Time Will Tell), a song of up­beat, im­ma­te­rial ec­stasy.

His words and sen­ti­ments are left de­lib­er­ately smudged and in­def­i­nite in places; sar­donic Dy­lan phras­ing sticks to some words, dou­ble-tracked Len­non wails on oth­ers. Lost In The Dark­ness, with its foot-stomp beat and ur­gent har­mon­ica, sits on the splice be­tween faith and doubt, a favourite Tay­lor spot. His frag­ile hon­esty lights a well­worn path.

Stur­dily soul­ful Amer­i­cana.

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