The Dark Fantastic - Goodbye Crooked Scar
Up Records

This is a terrible time to be reviewing this album. Or perhaps I'm 
just a terrible person to do it. Forces are conspiring against me - 
I keep trying to write a neutral/positive review of this album but 
just can't. Perhaps my current state of mind has skewed my opinions. 
It's true I am a little tired right now. Or maybe flaws in my 
upbringing are causing me to take an excessively negative viewpoint. 
Or maybe I'm really underwhelmed by this disc.

Dark Fantastic is the project of former Screaming Trees drummer Mark Pickerel. Yes, ANOTHER POST GRUNGE RECORD. Pickerel has moved past the grunge phase to be sure. There are no traces of fuzzed out crunchy power chord guitar, no heavy metal style drumming, no screaming. Instead the listener must endure dreary vocals which maddeningly follow the guitar melody. The same dull mood permeates each song on the album. Sure, some moments are better than others, but in general this record is mind-numbing.
I keep thinking that I'm supposed to like this album. Consensus was that the last Dark Fantastic record was pretty good. On top of that, the promo guy has all sorts of great things to say about how meaningful the lyrics are. "Pickerel's sadness and desperation comes off like a disappointed knowing, an unwelcome side effect of a life lived or lessons learned too young or too hard," said the promo person. What the hell is that supposed to mean? I think it means the album doesn't stand on its own two feet. I listened to the album several times, and I sure don't think Pickerel is sad or desperate. I think he's on prescription depressants. Or perhaps he is just as bored as I am.
...rick lindquist...

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