Christopher Alan Durham & the Peacetime Consumers Kicks or Macabre LP

Here we have some dirtbag rock music with visions of private press glory dancing in its mulleted head. This kind of rock rolls out of bed with a complete Canadian tuxedo surgically attached to its skin. I bet this guy had his water shut off by the city and brushes his teeth with Budweiser. The one-sheet throws out JIM SHEPARD’s name, but this stuff is Miller Lite compared to Shep’s moonshine-grade libations. Even in his mellowest moments, SHEPARD was still breathing fire, still consumed with accessing some hidden truth. On Kicks or Macabre, DURHAM sounds like he discovered SYD BARRETT’s leftover Mandrax supply and downed the entire bottle. Throughout the album, there’s flashes of the kind of wonky groove a band like the CLAP achieved so naturally, but they are fleeting. One of the better tracks, “Shoot Through Me,” gives off downer GEORGE BRIGMAN vibes but still comes off light as a feather. I imagine “Party Store Suicide” is supposed to sound despondent, like it’s living on the edge of the gutter, but it just sounds deflated, hardly worth even stepping over on your way to purchase some whip-its. “C Street Blues” goes for a shitkicking barrelhouse ramble, but ends up sounding like a pisstake. There’s a difference between desperation and listlessness.