Willard Grant Conspiracy Everything Is Fine

The WGC continue down their lonesome road with this fourth release in five years. For those already acclimatised to front-man Robert Fisher's brand of melancholia, Everything Is Fine will slip neatly into late-night rotation. Although this album once again contains some chilling atmospheres and some fine dustbowl poetry from Fisher, I've yet to be won over by his deadpan, pseudo-Nick Cave delivery. It does get to the heart of what the characters are about, such as on the truly beautiful "Southend Of A Northbound Train," and "Drunkard's Prayer," but, as with previous WGC releases I've heard, it also becomes monotonous in a short space of time. That's not to take away from the music at all; the multi-instrumental contingent anchored by guitarist Paul Austin provides the perfect hypnotic backdrop with sweeping grand piano, strings and other big sounds. The biggest hurdle upon first listen is simply Fisher's voice, but I imagine that can be overcome once the songs inevitably reveal themselves. (Rykodisc)