Black Heart Procession Six

Black Heart Procession Six
A big part of BHP's early appeal was their almost cartoonishly bleak approach to mood and tempo. Their first three albums were snail-paced, psychogeographic tours of dim gothic vagaries with much chain rattling and singing saws. After a couple of pattern breaking efforts, notably Amore Del Tropico's ruffled, up-tempo zest, the San Diego crew have returned to the bat cave. Revisiting old form is not without its pitfalls though, starting with Pall Jenkins' Lugosi croak, which has moved from menace to lethargy over the years. In fact, several of the tracks have the flavour of a Leonard Cohen romance aborted via narcolepsy. Titles like "Rats," "Drugs" and "Suicide" signal that the blood in the inkwell may be a touch coagulated. Musically, the old magic is there in the wheeze of the Wurlitzer and the thump of the tub. And when the saw starts a-singing to the piano on closer "Iri Sulu," the chills still finger the spine. (Temporary Residence)