Saturday, July 27, 2013

Danny & the Nightmares “Death of Satan”

(Munster) When Daniel Johnston started recording with a band, with actual production, in the late 90s, there was some fuss, because these records would be less “pure” than the idiosyncratic solo outsider tapes and albums he released on his own, and they seemed less legit to some. The albums and singles Danny and the Nightmares released over the next decade have not really been canonized the way his other material has. But that’s stinkin’ thinkin’, because unlike terrible shit like the Wesley Willis Fiasco or that awful punk band that ruins Blowfly, Danny and the Nightmares sound great, mixing raw garage rock and experimental smartness to perfectly compliment the idiosyncratic singing and ideas of Johnston. And more significantly, unlike many “outsiders,” Johnston, though often odd and childlike, always knew exactly what he was doing artistically. He understood music and the underground and the “scene” and was always in control of his talents and sounds, and if he wants to collaborate more power to him. This is the best Nightmares record yet, with lots of devil themes, addresses of mental challenges, and strangeness. If you can’t dig Johnston jamming with some clever, killer musicians, you may have a little Satan in ya.

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