Tindersticks, 'The Hungry Saw' (Constellation)

6
The Hungry Saw
Critical Mass
Label: Constellation

by Shannon Zimmerman

Powered by rattling drums, simmering organ, and Stuart Staples' resonant baritone, the first half of Tindersticks' latest is a can't-miss proposition. On "Yesterdays Tomorrows," Staples conjures both stylish freaks (Nick Cave, say) and geeks (Lloyd Cole), while near-instrumental "E-Type" splashes drunken brass on deep-vibrato guitar. Too bad the disc's second half descends into a morass of half-finished, melancholic curios that mostly go nowhere slowly. Still, cast as tube-amped soundtracks for the lovelorn, "The Turns We Took" -- which apes Jimmy Webb's deathless "Wichita Lineman" -- and the strings-laced "Mother Dear" are veritable bum-out anthems.

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