To those of us under the age of 30, Dave Bixby’s spiritual hippie-folk songwriting will likely elicit a collection of grimaces. To those who attended liberal arts colleges where ‘townies’ trolled about campus with their white-boy dreadlocks and secondhand garb, Harbinger’s Second Coming isn’t going to do much to gratify. Let’s face it: we’ve been dealing with this shit for years. There’s no possible way that some dude with an acoustic guitar and ‘spiritual’ (but not religious!) lyrics could break through our calloused anti-hippie disposition. But while Harbinger’s Second Coming (recently re-released on Guerssen) will be an easy record to overlook, it doesn’t have to be.
Taken earnestly, Second Coming really is quite beautiful. Although you might have to circumvent a few temporal biases in order to enjoy it, Dave Bixby’s songwriting is a powerful product indeed. He hopes, he mopes, but above all else, Dave Bixby feels god’s influence in his every movement. A similar spiritual affinity characterized Bixby’s previous work (the devastatingly lonesome Ode To Quetzalcoatl), but on Second Coming we discover that he’s finally pulled himself together.
As a result, the work is much more optimistic than its predecessor; instead of appealing to god through his isolation, Bixby expresses his spirituality more directly. He’s not writing explicitly for himself anymore — Second Coming finds a recovered Dave Bixby, and he wants to tell you about what he’s seen.