Battle of the Black Cloud (One)

A John Henry Memorial

Battle of the Black Cloud (One)
Performed By A John Henry Memorial
Album UPC 634479798917
CD Baby Track ID 5235378
Label Unread Records
Released 2004-01-01
BPM 139
Rated 0
ISRC uscgh0893205
Year 2004
Spotify Plays 186
Writer Davis Hooker
Pub Co Davis Hooker
Composer Davis Hooker
ClearanceFacebook Sync License,Traditional Sync,YouTube Sync ServiceOne Stop
Rights Controlled Master and Publishing Grant
Rights One-Stop: Master + 100% Pub Grant
Original/Cover/Public Domain original
Country United States - Oregon


Moody songs of love and loss


I love getting something from a label I'm familiar with and being totally caught off guard. Unread is a label that receives a lot of love from me (see the label spotlight in this update). I usually have a pretty good idea of what to expect as far as their tapes go. A John Henry Memorial is a project I have some familiarity with, but this tape showed up unexpectedly this week. That's not the only way it caught me with my pants down. These lofi recordings are mostly just guitar and vocals by JHM kingpin, Davis, performed live. They're meant to be quick sketches of future songs. But sometimes, it's the scribbles which are the real gems, and such is the case here. These 12 songs are excellent - there's not a weak one among them. The full band feeling of "Rotting Worm Food" has hints of old Palace records. The warbling noises laid down on tracks like "Your Head" and "Your Ghost and Teenagers Playing Dead" by label-boss, Chris Fischer, add layers of immense texture to the proceedings. It's an excellent combination. The best song on this tape, though, is the Beatles-tinged "Where is My Heart?" The full band line-up returns, and Davis howls in his stretched falsetto. It's a brilliant song and shows JHM's real skill as a songwriter. This guy is an underrated talent in every sense of the word. There aren't many who have heard of him, but that will change over time. Get your hands on this tape now. In five years, you'll be telling your hipster friends you were there from the beginning. Recommended. 8/10 - foxy digitalis

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