Cotton JonesThe River Strumming
Released 2008 on St. Ives
Reviewed by Graveyard Poet, 27/08/2011ce
That's the beauty and wonder of Cotton Jones, evident even on their obscure debut aptly entitled The River Strumming.
From the ghostly opener "It Comes To Me Now" (an ambiguous washing machine tumbling in an abandoned basement while the dead souls of ancestors stare at you in your bedroom) to the simple yet deeply spiritual closer "I Don't Suppose" with its lines "Nothing's real anymore" & "You're only here, there's nothing more", the band truly take you on a journey. The album has a seamless flow, each track segueing into the next perfectly.
"To Death With You" is the best ballad of cinematic heartbreak Mazzy Star never wrote, "The Spinning Wheel" sounds like a lost gem from the Velvet Underground's third (and by far best) album, "Midnight Monday" is a Southern Gothic dreamscape, "I Was Stoned By The Choir" contains will-o'-the-wisp background vocals and then morphs into an almost reggae rhythm, and "I Do What I Do" has a damn good danceable nocturnal groove, impossible not to nod your head along to.
If you want to hear the coolest record under the radar, this is the one.