The Black Heart Procession The Spell

[Touch & Go; 2006]

Styles: brooding indie rock
Others: Nina Nastasia, The Kills, P.J. Harvey, Karate, Smog

A common thread runs through The Spell, a thread more like barbed wire than string, yarn, or fibrous cord. Someone has been disparaged. "Captured by you and slowly pulled into your web/ The venom was smooth so I didn't mind a thing." They must've used a crucible and a large wooden spoon, undoubtedly. Call it what you will””curse, hex, oath””the spell is potent. Just listen to "The Waiter #5." Hear the whooshing of a reverb tank and the piano keys touched, sprinkling like nails hitting cellar floors. Tympani could be mistaken for torture.

These are songs that should be performed on a rare cabaret stage in a slum””with a Brechtian audience asking: "Why so glum, sugarplum?" A plum, like blackened heart, rotten fruit, circled with barbed wire, squeezing the juices into a cistern. "Every day shows signs of rust."

These songs speak of a spell, cast, and holding hostages, captured in something haunted””a house, a chamber (perhaps an echo chamber, reverberating pianos, organs, a Wurlitzer, saw, and lap steel); a vestige on the floor of blood-blotted hair clumps. Pall Jenkins and Tobias Nathaniel writhe in pleasure””they pop; vessels, lead balloons, music.

1. Tangled
2. The Spell
3. Not Just Words
4. The Letter
5. The Replacement
6. Return to Burn
7. GPS
8. The Waiter #5
9. Places
10. The Fix
11. To Bring You Back