Dastardly: Bury Me in the Country

Dastardly, Bury Me in the CountryDastardly: Bury Me in the Country
All aboard for Chicago quartet Dastardly’s new EP, Bury Me in the Country. From a dead stop “Freight Train,” takes an opening minute to shake off the bonds of gravity, and much like the unmistakable sound of train cars clacking together under the strain of locomotion the album lurches forward in an unconventional time signature. There is a definite sense of orchestrated discord to the opening tune, something akin to Thelonious Monk’s off timing which displays a musical intelligence that is quickly disbanded for a more traditional format as the album picks up speed.
Track two, “Fever,” is the clear choice for a single, with a stand up bass line that will ricochet around in your head for days and harmonizing reminiscent of any back porch whisky tippling, finger picking string circle…Wait for it, and enter the yodel! I’m not saying it makes the song, it just makes the song dirty.
Now passing through “Brief Thoughts on Death,” a one-horse town we barrel through whistle blaring. “Every time I see someone 85 I wonder how the hell they’re still alive.” Like all good Mid-Western acts, Dastdardly has an unhealthy fascination with their own mortality, and god bless them for it on this track. Between questioning relevancy of heaven and hell and blaming a higher-power for all their problems Dastardly cleverly disguises a lament behind humor.
Next stop, “Dead Birdhouse Blues,” “Missouri you’re a cold and miserable fucker,” the perfect chorus for any love song narrative, delivered with an intense and almost neurotic flip flopping from hopeless love to outright disgust. You can comfort yourself he’s talking about the state and not the girl, (right?) that just manages to fit in a jibe against New Jersey before closing out and coming to my personal favorite track.
“Dirtnap,” (Uncouth Hillbilly Gets What’s Coming to Him) takes the piss outta all the posturing and pretension behind modern music circles, a la Dead Milkmen in its ravings, the rant culminates in violent acts and public nudity, an eventual arrest where you realize the conductor’s keeled over and this train’s running away on us. After the glorious collision when the train jumps the tracks, you can rest assured Dasdardly will bury us all, deep in the country.
For added kicks, check out the group’s blog. These are clever guys, well worth letting into your stereo for a play or two.
Rating: 8.8/10
MP3: Dastardly “Fever”
Buy: iTunes