[Review] William Elliott Whitmore – Animals in the Dark

23 Dec

William Elliott Whitmore, purveyor of a fine sort of backcountry Midwestern blues-folk, is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore.

From the call and response of the opener “Mutiny” to the closing bars of “A Good Day to Die,” there’s 37 minutes of one pissed off man spouting about issues of the corruption and evil that surround us in life, of the need to stop dwelling on questions of salvation, and the virtues of hard work. Don’t trust the cop (“Johnny Law”), don’t trust the politician (“Old Devils,” “Who Stole the Soul”), and most certainly don’t trust the preacher. Life is a bitter struggle (“Hard Times”), and it’s difficult to navigate the way, but it’s well worth carrying on and even celebrating the journey (“Hell or High Water”).

This is an album autobiographical and incendiary, rustic and timely. Favorite record of the year? Maybe. I’m gonna wrestle with that question for the next few days before I put up a year-end post. So be sure to check back.

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