Dan Mangan returns with his new band Blacksmith and the superb album ‘Club Meds’ the title referring to ‘the idea that we’re all on vacation from having to be honest with ourselves – that sometimes it’s easier to medicate than deal with reality’ a theme that crops up throughout. Fun fact his band is called Blacksmith as it alludes to a craft that takes years to master but thankfully his band debut here fully formed with loops and synths, samples and strings. At times its sounds like ‘Afghan Whigs’ others Richard Hawley there’s even a Death in Vegas style Scorpio Rising in the stompy ‘Vessel’. There are eleven tracks here and no two are the same the band using the compositions as their playground of sounds creating something ever so slightly different. Mood is everything here and thankfully the lyrics just add to that ‘Mouthpiece’ with it brilliant ‘I want to breathe in all the ashes of the books they tried to burn. I want to feel the pages in my skin and understand the words’ and the sublime ‘Pretty Good Joke’ ‘Everybody’s sorry. Guilty dirty sorry’ breathes Mangan. This a teasingly beautiful album with so many great moments and musical/lyrical flourishes that it would be impossible for me to do it justice here but I will say that for a January release it is already one of my albums of the year.
Find all the lyrics here: http://danmanganmusic.com/lyrics-to-club-meds/