Once heralded as ‘unobtrusively brilliant’ by John Peel, Cass McCombs was raised in Northern California, and he sounds like it.
His sixth studio album, released through Domino follows up ‘Wit’s End’, which only graced us earlier in April, so as you can tell by now the songwriter is somewhat eager.
Humor Risk breaks with the grungy ‘Love Thine Enemy’. Somewhat repetitive, the pleasant guitar solo mellows down the rustic track which introduces this road-tripping album.
A tranquil follow up comes in the shape of ‘The Living World’ and the upbeat ‘The Same Thing’ which conjure up fantasies of lying back in a gigantic American car and travelling through the States. If you have ever dreamt of doing the whole ‘Kerouac’ thing and being ‘On the Road’ yourself, then this would be a fine accomplice.
Feel good track ‘Robin Egg Blue’ is the first single to be released from the album and has a shiny, high-spirited feel to it while ‘Meet at the Mannequin Gallery’ brings Humor Risk back to towards its grunge opening. The mixed theme of acoustic, rhythmic and laidback carries nicely throughout. In the closing stages, ‘Mariah’s’ lo-fi excellence is a downbeat yet rewarding conclusion to an infectious album.
If you’re a McCombs enthusiast or appreciate similar artists such as Kurt Vile or Bill Callahan then you won’t be disappointed. McCombs is in a productive stratosphere; let’s hope he can keep it that way.