Guy Peters – March 23, 2015
He was at the end of the last millennium, still labeled the hottest out what the world of perverted roots had come up, then Johnny Dowd is fifteen years and eleven studio albums later, the king of his self-created mythology. Which is now only still reserved for a small following, but that may be well assured that Dowd not deny himself. That’s Your Wife On The Back Of My Horse is a minor classic in Dowdland.
The man remains averse to trends and good taste do its thing, seemingly purely on instinct. And while he was in the beginning showed clear affinity with other artists from the world of blues and country – he was not for nothing that the label glued alt.country – then stays there now hardly anything left. His bold accent and surreal antics party come straight from the imagination of a schizophrenic hillbilly, but Dowd fall in 2015 to stop simply no longer in a box. Conveniently, he was already comparing Zappa and Beefheart, but that is only because they were equally rebellious. Meanwhile there it stops. And if there is to be compared anyway, then you are probably closer to the truth by talking about Ween and The Residents.
Remarkably, after a series of plates with drummer Willie B. and keyboardist Michael Stark were the returning band members, Dowd returned to Wrong Side Of Memphis and the solo context. Here and there, singer Anna Coogan a hand, but essentially this is a solo album. Dowd plays guitar, bass and – especially – keyboards. However, do not think of taking brooding Fender Rhodes or rolling organs, but plastic Casio sounds with flat beats, disco sounds and DIY electronics. There robot votes to pass, sticky hip-hop beats and tons of distortion. It’s ugly and kitschy, yet irresistible.
Indeed, the self-mythology was rarely so inspired shape and That’s Your Wife On The Back Of My Horse therefore feels like an unbroken chain of odes to himself and his lifestyle. After the long, noisy intro ends Dowd in “White Dolemite” (Dolemite was a blaxploitation character is a from the seventies) in a sort of lo-fi bricolage hip as if he had his own variant will create boastful, look-me-now -once-useless-being-in-my-goudgelakte- -onzin crib, with a female voice that faux-sexy “he needs a spanking” will give. Date still in “My Old Flame”: it can be difficult even flatter, but Dowd also now know a kind of trailer park gaga flow to shake off the sleeve.
It is still not clear whether Dowd or any of his characters to the word, but that does not matter really. They are constantly running into each other. Who saw him already live to work, knows that. One minute he combines heavy riffs with Casio beats (“Cadillac Hearse”) or he comes up with an out-his-add-splitting roller fair (“Empty Purse”), but sometimes there are references to better times. For example, “Why” one from the pre-Beatles era, but … then you go watch the text. Or “Sunglasses” that those voices just yet disordered family-essay “Words Are Birds” to let go for it. Johnny Dowd, representative of a country that is trapped in Dubya mode, gangsta against your better judgment, disordered in Beef Hearts inflated “Bat Chain Puller” a nightmare.
And we have not even talked about the complete off-the-pot jerked synthpop / dance of “Dear John Letter” and the bombastic theater valve “Teardrops”, one which he looks back on a / his life as if the z ‘ n In Memoriam own concerns. Until he finally gets out of that role (or not) and the curtain drops on the show. Initially, you can not help but think that the man this time very very brown has baked but listen after listen it sucks you back in that metatextual world of rock and roll references and pastiches of the most diverse genreclichés. “It sucks to get old, “he groans somewhere in” Poor, But Proud “. May be, but the truth is that the now 67-year-old bloke vitality and courage to bear explains the endless stream convertible indie pop bands that heaven be praised and sound too mature for their first album very well off. Johnny fuckin ‘Dowd, alive & kickin’ with one of the plates geinigste 2015.
Johnny Dowd soon begins a European tour. On April 10, he plays in the N9 (Eeklo) , then five more times in the Netherlands. More info here .