Vic Chesnutt, 'At the Cut' (Constellation)

Critical Mass
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by Joe Gross

Reprising the underground all-star lineup from Chesnutt's 2007 opus North Star Deserter (Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Silver Mt. Zion) yields similar results. Start minimal ("When the Bottom Fell Out"), drift into chamber rock ("Chinaberry Tree"), explode into methodical roar ("Philip Guston"). The songwriter has been reading a lot (quotes from Auden, Ferlinghetti, Joseph Roth, et al. are duly footnoted) and he can still get at the ick of life with passion. Plus, it's great to hear Picciotto's guitar again.

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