Album Review: Cass McCombs - Big Wheel and Others

artworks-000055878193-y0dduc-t500x500Big Wheel and Others • Cass McCombs • Domino Records • Producer: Cass McCombs • Score: 8 out of 10

Burn some sage and drink a beer. McCombs shrugs off unspoken musical fiats as he pairs blue-collar motifs with Jim Morrison aural mysticism beginning with the opening track's hypnotic riff. Pedal steel bends the mind and McCombs' voice haunts with the resonance of Kurt Vile and slinks with the languid nonchalance and mild amusement of Lou Reed through gypsy tales, tribal lullabies and the pleading "Brighter," a last testament sung in black velvet notes by late actress/musician Karen Black. Rooted to the earth in some lyrical respects, Big Wheel leaves the ground in others through shadows of religion and flickerings of magic as McCombs gropes with the metaphysical. —Jessica Pace