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“Hark! DIY sleaze-rock henchpersons, ascend from your cellars and rejoice...Midwestern anti-folk hero Christopher Alan Durham (The Bibs, All Gone Recs) arrives on high horse in full-length mode with a band of merry menaces in tow. Following a string of cassette and 7-inch releases for labels like Spacecase and Soft Abuse (whom are also responsible for the gift in hand), Kicks Or Macabre is CAD’s first LP outing under his own name, and we’re all the better for it.
“Recorded in and around modern-day Detroit, the record certainly has that street-walking cheetah energy that one might expect from a protagonist presumably raised on the teet-to-mouth diet of Destroy All Monsters youtube vids, vending machine snacks, trucker speed ’n’ malt liquor laced with the ever present back-and-fore ground pollins of our patron Jim Shepards, Pussy Galores, Gibson Bros and countless other unscrewed basement saints who shook, rattled and rolled before us...but wait, there’s so much more.
“Durham and his trusty Peacetime Consumers (ex-Quilt Boy /Roachclip cohorts) conjure up a thicker-than-usual, borderline soulful junk sick blooze that slinks and swaggers like a lean-drunk Flamin’ Groovies or Gulcher / Richie-era KV if you traded his happy-go-lucky, confidently carefree dopiness for the frantic urgency of a paranoid loner whose slumlord is putting the screws to him, and look... there ain’t enough grass left in that bag to even pack a bat...
“But the band plays on, and if Durham’s long-running development as a mainstay in the American sub-underground proves to hit its peak with Kicks, we should consider ourselves lucky to have ever had such good seats in this, the theater of his own strange little lower-middle-class tragedy songs, often reflecting less on the overarching and impossibly big / bad times than they do on the smaller, more understandable, more feelable good ones.
“Even luckier for us, he may have only just begun.” —Ryan Davis, 2023