Spiral Grave and Iron Man vocalist, Dee Calhoun, has, once again, gone acoustic on his third solo album, Godless as he recorded it in his home studio with bandmate Louis Strachan on bass and Dee’s son Robert contributing percussion and backing vocals.
Every track is genuinely acoustic although the guitar is also a percussion instrument in Dee’s hands and it all adds up to a startling and very good album; it’s also filled with messages delivered with humor when suitable and gravitas when not.
There are quite a few highlights, so I’d suggest ‘Here Comes The Bride A Tale From Blackwater’ for the great lyrics and the ukulele and kazoo playing (yes, really); ‘Spite Fuck’ for its heavy guitar and slide inflections giving that Western feel; ‘Prudes Puritanicals Puddles Of Piss’ for the title and the acoustic structures throughout.; ‘Godless’ for the church intro, the message and the guitar; ‘Ebenezer’ for a first-class piece of blues with a brilliant bass line.
It is varied enough and of such a high quality that, unlike some acoustic journeys, it is a pleasure in one sitting or interspersed through a playlist and repeated listens reveal more of each cleverly assembled element. In all honesty, I wasn’t prepared for how I quickly came to love this work: most of them would work electrified too, but the way these tracks have been built makes them truly stand out from the crowded “unplugged” stuff that some feel obliged to do.