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Cass McCombs - Big Wheel and Others

Cass McCombs: Big Wheel and Others [Album Review]

Words by Carlos Duarte.

The latest effort from singer songwriter Cass McCombs sees him traverse many a genre on the one project. Flaunting influences from folk, rock, jazz, blues and even Latin music, Big Wheel and Others is a testament to McCombs’ storytelling ability, which captures the listener and makes it easy to see why his past works have received so much praise.

As a songwriter, the Californian native has a flair for being both poetic and blunt with his lyricism. On tracks like ‘Angel Blood’, he references hanging from Angel wings like “the holy grail”, whilst on the folksy ‘Morning Star’, he brazenly opens with “Leave your husband and come with me”. The fusion of the romantic with the elegiac is captivating, and shines most on the jazz infused ‘The Burning of the Temple’.

The majority of Big Wheel and Others floats in a sea of melancholy, however, there are instances where the vibe switches to a more upbeat affair. ‘It Means a lot to Know You Care’ and ‘Satan is My Toy’ are both effervescent cuts that jolt the overall proceedings with Latin rhythms and fast paced rock making them both standouts.

Ultimately, Cass McCombs’ latest will appeal to those willing to immerse themselves in its 85 minute running time. The album exudes a frank charm that is hard to resist, and the varied musical flavours and clever writing ensure that diving into its depths will reward you with many a treasure.

Rating: ★★★

Here is the albums first sample ‘There Can Be Only One’

Followed by ‘Brighter!’ featuring and dedicated to the memory of American actress, screenwriter, singer and songwriter, Karen Black.

Big Wheel and Others is out on October 15 thanks to Domino Records.

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