Danny Cohen – We’re All Gunna Die (CD)

So, Danny started eir musical career in 1961, almost 45 years ago. Maybe that is why “We’re All Gunna Die” is so hard to pigeonhole. The simple fact is that eir has had the chance to hear everything that has came out in the meanwhile – from the heights achieved by Kraftwerk and The Replacements to the lows of The Beatles – and has incorporated everything into this disc. What comes as a result of this mash-up is a sedated, strung-out type of folk-rock, at times absurd (the falsetto during “Pamela Rodgers”) but mostly with a grit to eir voice that is similar to Bob Dylan and Louis Armstrong. The nice incorporation of the alt-country slide guitar to “Film Noir” really expands the scope of “We’re All Gunna Die”, even if the style in which the vocals issue from Danny do not change much at all.

It is when a track like “(Tongue-tied in) Quicksand” hits the speakers that the true “punk” of Cohen really starts to show; the upright bass present on the track really contextualizes it in the vein of Tiger Army or The Nekromantix while Cohen’s voice goes closer to Iggy Pop’s Stooges days. The atmosphere created throughout “We’re All Gunna Die” is perhaps the strongest suit for Cohen; it is not quite as much the songs that are committed to disc here, but rather the experience that one has while listening to the disc that is important. With the overall sound of this disc being acoustically-led, one may think that Cohen has to work within an unnecessarily constricting framework. This could not be any farther from the truth, as the spontaneity encountered on this disc is such that the overall sound of a track can change in mid-stream.

The martial drumming during “Funeral in New Orleans” is a perfect example of the malleability of Cohen’s music; the track has is much more depressing in tone than the rest of the disc, but that is not necessarily the point. The disc is full even though the style of playing and the instruments used are both Spartan in tone and number. What seems to be the high point of the disc has to be the carnival-atmosphere of “Ghost Country Safari”, which mixes the euphoric sound of the circus with a buzzing, droning noise to really stand for the entirety of the disc. Danny Cohen has learned much in this extended period.

Top Tracks: Ghost Country Safari, Film Noir

Rating: 6.8/10

Danny Cohen – We’re All Gunna Die / 2005 Anti / 16 Tracks / http://www.anti.com/artist.php?id=8 / http://www.anti.com / Reviewed 22 June 2005

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