Dork Radio
Now playing:
In the mag...
Featuring Arlo Parks, Cavetown, Everything Everything, Aluna and loads more.
Order a copy
September 2020 (Arlo Parks)
Review

Cass McCombs - Mangy Love

This isn’t an album to sleep on.
Cass McCombs - Mangy Love
Published: 12:45 pm, August 25, 2016
This isn’t an album to sleep on.

Label: ANTI
Released: August 26th 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Cass McCombs’ eighth album ‘Mangy Love’ is a serious record for serious times. Always an astute and prolific songwriter McCombs is now channelling his ire to a wealth of sociologic ills that blight the world and his home country of America.

It’s an album of big themes and direct action. His targets are predominantly the government and the misogyny of the broken US justice system. While these themes could potentially make the album heavy and overbearing it’s a testament to McCombs’ song writing chops that it always sounds compelling and fresh.

The vicious, malevolent groove of ‘Rancid Girl’ highlights a quiet anger and defiance that runs through the album. More often than not though, the heavy lyrics are set against some quite lovely melodies and masterful production to temper the grime and the dirt. The songs are mostly lush and full of interesting musical touches like the glorious brass and woodwind sounds on ‘Laughter Is The Best Medicine’ or the soulful lament of ‘Opposite House’ that features Angel Olsen on backing vocals.

McCombs’ long time love of folk and country is present but it is aligned to a kind of deeply heartfelt alluring soft-rock approach that reminds you of Destroyer’s acclaimed ‘Kaputt’ hopefully this should provide a similar breakout for the long time underrated songwriter.

Perhaps the best thing about the album is how simply glorious it all sounds. It displays a musical dexterity and diversity to it that lifts it to a higher level. You don’t often hear such accomplished playing, song writing and ambition all displayed on the one record. Here McCombs pulls it off. This isn’t an album to sleep on. Martyn Young

Give all this a try

Be No Rain: Stuck at prom
Feature

Be No Rain: Stuck at prom

London’s Be No Rain loves a great big, cinematic idea - and his debut album more than delivers the goods.
Any Other Questions with... Rachel Chinouriri
Feature

Any Other Questions with... Rachel Chinouriri

Oasis, Toys "R" Us and avocados: Rachel Chinouriri tackles this month's daft queries.
Baby Queen: "I've settled on this word, anti-pop"
Feature

Baby Queen: "I've settled on this word, anti-pop"

Baby Queen is challenging the preconceptions of pop.
A day in the life of... Tom Rees from Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard
Feature

A day in the life of... Tom Rees from Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard

From dusk 'til dawn with your favourite acts.
Like this? Subscribe to Dork and get every issue delivered direct to your door anywhere on the planet.
CONTACT PRIVACY ADVERTISE

© 2018 The Bunker Publishing