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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 214 - 02/15/14

New Bums
Voices in a Rented Room
Drag City

The New Bums are Messrs Ben Chasny (known from his solo project Six Organs of Admittance, and psychedelic indie-noise-rock band Comets on Fire) and Donovan Quinn (from The Skygreen Leopards and Verdure, as well as solo albums under his own name). Voices in a Rented Room is the twosome's full-length debut as New Bums. The bums are alright?

Chasny and Quinn go for the bedroom sound of the freak-out indie-folk singing-song writing tradition. The bums are alright. Voices... holds 12 tracks from the dark side. A darker shade of pale. To quote the Drag City label: "Ben Chasny from Six Organs and Donovan Quinn from Skygreen Leopards; two voices and guitars with the occasional other element all compete for the loneliest sound in the room. Lots of laughs too - if you like 'em dark, that is.". This means songs like "Your Girlfriend Might Be a Cop", "Welcome to the Navy", and "Mother's Favorite Hated Son". In prior to this brand new album the New Bums put out a self-released 7" EP, Slim Volume last September. Now the gents had songs for a full album proper, including one of the tracks from the EP, "The Killers and Me".

Voices in a Rented Room is not an easy listen. These two gentlemen never have put out music of the light and bright kind. Personally I feel that the album should have been trimmed, even though the 12 tracks clocks in at less than 40 minutes. Nevertheless, the album could've/should've held 8-10 songs. That said, the Bums are cool company. Cool as in the tristesse of "Town on the Water", or in the laidback feel or slackness of tracks like "Black Bough", "Pigeon Town", "Burned", or "It's The Way". After all, the bums are alright. Nothing less, nothing more.

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