Crooked Fingers

Red Devil Dawn

Merge Records

Eric Bachmann’s throaty, infectious vocals and archaic guitar work with mid-90s indie icons Archers of Loaf has gone mostly overlooked since the band broke up, but his post-Archers solo project, Crooked Fingers, has garnered a fair amount of praise. Bachmann now employs mostly acoustic instruments, layering his alcoholic folk tunes with plucked guitars, violins and banjos. Red Devil Dawn remedies the homogeneous tempos and arrangements that plagued his previous release. The arrival of horns and mandolins spices up the mix, and Bachmann turns in his best lyrical performance yet, all sung through a Waits-ian, early-AM murmur. Slum-folk. HHH

– Andrew M. Gaerig

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